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If you missed the event or want a recap of some of the projects, check out this collection of standout Quest projects.

Nueva’s spring musical production of "Catch Me If You Can" ran May 10-12, and the backstage action was just as wild as the onstage drama. p. 5

High teacher turnover rates make it hard for a community to form and student-teacher relationships to develop. Read one writer’s opinion on this issue. p. 15

Here’s our Year in Review of Nueva’s athletics. We looked back on the team rituals, hype songs, and favorite memories.

The Nueva Current

Volume 2, Issue 6


p. 3

JUNE 6, 2019

p. 17

131 E. 28th Ave. San Mateo, CA 94403 @thenuevacurrent www.thenuevacurrent.com The Official Student Newspaper of The Nueva School


Welcome to B Street Books

As the independent bookstore celebrates 11 years in San Mateo, the value of locality comes into the spotlight Willow C. Y.

From his perch on a black swivel chair, Lew Cohen greets everyone who walks into downtown San Mateo’s B Street Books. “Hi, hello,” he says. “Are you looking for anything in particular? Well, if you need help, just yell at me.” It was May and a brightly-colored bunting banner advertised the store’s 10th anniversary while another promoted a store-wide sale. For the past decade, Cohen has been the owner and manager of local and antiquarian bookstore B Street Books, buying and selling to and from the community, from squealing children and their eye-bagged parents to a teen just out of school to the quiet seniors. The store is a source for collectors with its circa 1910, 30-volume works of Charles Dickens and complete set of Arthur Conan Doyle; a quiet haven for readers with its huge windows and numerous armchairs; and, as it were, one of the last local bookstores in downtown San Mateo. ——— For 35 years pre–B Street, Cohen was a private investigator dealing with civil litigation, before realizing that he wanted to do something different. “The job was always around the negative aspect of life,” Cohen explained. “It was the just seedy side,


and I was tired of chasing after bad guys.” He and an old college roommate from Sacramento State, seeing an opening after the last local bookstore in the area closed in 1994, decided to open an antiquarian bookstore and named it B Street Books. After a few

months of renting space in a cavernous Thrifty, they moved to the current location, a red-awninged, tiled building dating back to 1912 which, Cohen revealed, features an old Bank of America vault that is “still under your feet.” B Street has since occupied the corner store and its vault and has filled

it floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-window with books. It attracts both new customers and B Street old-timers who return, sometimes several times a week, to peruse the worn wood shelves and curl into red leather armchairs. CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

Unfollow and unplug Why some Gen Z’ers are tired of social media (but can’t stop using it) Gitika P.

At the end of tenth grade, I had a nervous breakdown. Personal and academic stressors—ones many of us experience—suddenly felt impossible to cope with together. So I cut my hair, asked my family for support, and deleted Instagram off my phone. Two weeks later, my bob cut and daily wellness check-ins remained, but that pesky little app had found its way back to my


home screen. Nothing about scrolling through an endless feed of summer beach pictures was particularly fascinating to me. Even worse, I knew that doing so would undermine or slow any progress I had made with my mental health. So why did I keep doing it? CONTINUED ON PAGE 10



School screening in Black History Month

Upper School learns about criminalization and race in America with “13th”

QUINCY A. (11) organized the screening of “13th” and intergrade reflections on the film, and conflicts between personal values and politics.

Jordan M.

Project 80 released Podcast about anxiety made by students is now available to public Isabel C.

Nueva’s Project 80 started their work in September 2018 and released the latest episode of their science podcast on Monday, May 20. Project 80 is a science-based and student-run organization that aims to “educate 80% of a target community about the science behind controversial topics, and to increase the number of people who use scientific data to

On Wednesday, May 1, students and faculty watched a screening of “13th” in the gym. Organized by Quincy A. (11) and Science of Mind teacher Alison Williams, the day was devoted to reflecting on America’s history of slavery and the problems that persist in the criminal and judicial systems. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the award-winning documentary features interviews by activists and experts on how criminalization has become a new system of slavery. “I remembered watching ‘13th’ and thinking that it was one of the best movies to adequately describe the challenge of being black in America,” Quincy said. “I thought it would be an effective way to convey my experience.” Quincy has been planning this event since September; his goal was to help people realize that systemic racism is still a problem, how they contribute to this system, and understand that little actions add up to a “lifetime of pokes and prods.” Davion Fleming, ninthgrade co-dean and Associate


Director of Admissions, thinks that students need to have more conversations about the “histories and identities of those that compose our community.” “We do very little—from a curricular standpoint—to incorporate different voices and viewpoints to reach an understanding of historically underrepresented and oppressed groups,” Fleming said. “While [it’s] great that we have days like this, it should be a supplement to something that everyone is learning in the classroom setting to gain an even deeper understanding of critical points."

Zach Brown visits for talk on climate change Accomplished climate scientist addresses the Upper School on the harsh realities of climate change Isabel C.

IN THE WORKS Project 80 main editor Chloe K. (11) sets the agenda for one of their Friday morning meetings, where the team gathers in a conference room and brainstorms, makes plans for, or works on their podcasts. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.

inform their everyday decisions.” Their most recent podcast focuses on anxiety and uses primary sources to explain the topic in a student-friendly matter. “We are a team of 10 members passionate about science as well as storytelling,” said Chloe K. (11), the main editor for Project 80. “We want to make scientific literature accessible to all students, and always look for creative and fun ways to share this information.” The team has created podcasts focused on marijuana and the impact of video games on the brain, and has worked on other articles about different topics. “We are interested in any kind of topic that is specific enough that we can go into depth about it, but is also relevant to the entire student body,” Chloe said. “We hope that by talking to students about what they really want to learn about, we can continue to produce podcasts that really matter and can make a difference starting with the school community.” Currently, the podcast is only available on their website (www.project80. org), but the team is working on uploading them to iTunes and YouTube as well.

In celebration of Earth Day, on Wednesday, April 24, senior Celia M. introduced climate scientist and director of the Inian Islands Institute Zach Brown to the Upper School for a talk on the dire global situation surrounding climate change and how to help. “Over the 30 years since we have understood and been conscious globally of climate change, our carbon emissions have skyrocketed, increasing by about 50%,” Brown said. “[W]hy haven’t we done anything about it?” Celia, who had planned the

Jeremy D. Co-Lead

Arts Rep

Corrections for Volume 2, Issue 5, published Mar. 29, 2019

Seniors create Wall of Rejections Installation of college rejection letters on display for 24-hours Jordan M. Gitika P. (12), Student Council co-lead, continued a tradition that started at the Upper School with its first graduating class. The Wall of Rejections is a presentation of college rejection letters received by the seniors. The letters, some mailed and others printed emails, are put up with “This will not define us (or you)” in big red letters. A new addition to this year’s wall on Wednesday, May 15 was the collection of rejection stories from faculty members. The installation was taken down after one day, but many students have expressed their wish for it to stay up longer, while others said they felt stressed out by the display. In a poll of 46 students and alums, 93% of respondents said that they wanted this year’s Wall of Rejections to remain installed for more than one day. “I understand that this is a display that the senior class has wanted since the first graduating class,” said Stephen Dunn, US Division Head. “We have always felt that displaying resilience in the face of disappointment and rejection is an important symbolic artifact at this time of year.” Three years ago, Class of 2017 created their Wall of Rejections by folding their rejection letters into paper cranes, a symbol of the fact that “they had made peace with the process and disappointment and were showing that they were stronger than the rejection,” Dunn said. However, the Class

Aleeha B. Co-Lead

Alice E.

Athletics Rep

Alexander R.

Student Life Rep

Elliot C.

Service Learning Rep

of 2018 was “not able to propose an installation that had significant symbolic meaning other than simply posting the letters in full text,” according to Dunn. The controversy surrounding this installation revolves around the idea of displaying rejection letters with no “context of success.” “We urged them to do this in the context of college success as well to balance out what could be a disheartening display,” Dunn said. “We were not able to reach an agreement.” This year’s senior class worked with administration and mutually agreed to put up the display for one day while the class wore their college sweatshirts, which placed the installation into a “context of success.” They also displayed stories of rejection from faculty to show how their mentors have overcome failures. “I urged the class to find a way to display the letters in a more artistic and meaningful way, for a longer period of time,” Dunn said. The inability to reach an agreement is what led to the decision of keeping the display for only one day. “We want to be a school that recognizes that failure is a natural part of the learning process, including the college process,” Dunn said. “But we should do so in a constructive and supportive way, contextualizing the overall process and the accompanying success.”


Juniors Jack B. and Stanley W. shave a checkerboard pattern into David S. (11) head for having the worst bracket during March Madness.

photos in the Athletics Night Banquet video that played on Tuesday, May 28

2019–2020 Student Council Representatives

Jason H.


talk since November 2018, feels that the talk had a positive impact on the school community. “I heard many people saying that they hadn’t realized just how serious climate change is or how ingrained it is into society,” Celia said. “I think people were very shocked.” Despite the dreary facts, Brown finished with a feeling of optimism for the years ahead. “When we look back at history, we find that it’s nonlinear, that it’s dynamic, that it’s unpredictable,” Brown said. “And so even though we face a lot of tough predictions right now, looking back at 1970, the first Earth Day provides a lot of hope.”



2 / NEWS

StuCo elections are over and the results are in! Here is the list of students who will serve on Student Council in the 2019–2020 school year.

Andrew C.

10th Grade Rep

Chloe K.


Campus Steward

Willow C. Y.

11th Grade Rep

Jake V.

Spirit & Social Rep

Nico L.

12th Grade Rep

Quincy A.

Equity & Inclusion Rep

On page two in the News Brief, the art installation “40 Acres and a Mule: Visual Conversations about Reparations” was made of 40 acres of masking tape, not 40 feet. On the same page, a short statistic mistakenly claimed that Gabi B. (10) walked around with her group asking community members to estimate the number of jellybeans in a jar when she, in reality, did not. On page eight, the graphics for “The secret lives of Stan Twitter” were left uncredited; they were from Freepik. Caught an error? Please email any corrections or clarifications to thenuevacurrent@nuevaschool.org. Corrections will be published in the following issue.



Quest Expo

NEWS / 3

A rundown on featured student projects at the Quest Expo

Zulie M. Therapy dog training, photorealistic drawing, upcycling, and virtual reality game design. These are just a few of the projects that students have devoted themselves to over the past nine months. These incredible journeys were displayed on Quest night, which took place on May 21 this year, a Tuesday rather than a Thursday as it was last year. This is one of the new changes to this year’s schedule, along with new programming during the day to give students more time to see each others’ projects, different locations of presentations, and later date in the year. 1. Antonetta T. (10) created a children’s book introducing historical feminists. “My favorite moment from working on my book was showing it to and having it reviewed by my 8-year-old niece.”






2. Yahli E. (9) used spray paint to create several large pieces of graffiti artwork using street art in San Francisco as an inspiration for his Quest. 3. Eleanor M. (10) trained her dog to become a therapy dog. “I thought Beau would make a good service dog because people respond very positively to him, he lights up a room when he enters.” 4. Jason H. (11) created photorealistic portraits. “There was a day where we had all eight blocks and only one of my teachers was actually in class, so I spent seven out of eight periods working on my piece in the art room.”



5. Chloe K. (11) designed and created upcycled fashion. “I went around my house and found unused fabrics and stuff. I love the dress I’m wearing; it’s made of a fitted sheet that I dyed and cut.” 6. Max S. (11) built an electric guitar using wood and resin. “My favorite moment was…when I plugged it in and played it for the first time, because I got to see it all come together.” 7. Noah V. H. (10) made a sculpture out of trash. “I started this project last year, and I really enjoyed making other things out of trash, so I was really excited to continue it on a bigger scale this year.”


A night of Nueva art and performances

Arts Opening and Coffeehouse team up to deliver an evening celebrating the arts

Elizabeth B. P. The coffeehouse started with upbeat jazz and string lights, just like the first. The school’s characteristic couches, scattered around the WRC, housed a few dozen students; others sat on the floor or stood in the back as the acts continued. This was the second coffeehouse of the year—and the second Nueva coffeehouse ever. The event partnered with the arts opening, which preceded the Upper School Arts Week. Coffeehouse organizers Jordan M. (10) and Willow C. Y. (10) worked with Jason H. (11) and art teachers May Wilson and Rachel Dawson to host the combined event, which took place on Friday, May 17, and ran from 5:00 p.m. until past 9 p.m. “I think one of the biggest changes we made this time, besides teaming up with Arts Week, was including an open mic session at the end,” Jordan, design editor of The Current, said. “We tried it subtly last time, and it worked great for the people who stayed for it, but we wanted more people to participate so

JAMMING OUT Groove Workshop was one of many musical groups to perform at the Arts Opening x Coffeehouse event; there were three different bands from the class that went on stage to kick off the event. PHOTO BY JORDAN M.

we made sure that people knew about it this time.” Willow, The Nueva Current’s editor-in-chief, said, “We had a lot of serious performances, but at the same time had some that were on the humorous side, and I think everyone did a really good job of going with the

flow.” One challenge was getting people to attend an after-school event in May, one of the busiest months of the school year. Jordan worked hard to promote the event, even sending out invitations to the incoming Class of 2023, several of whom did attend. He hoped that the

incoming class would be inspired to participate in future coffeehouses. “We also wanted them to have the chance to interact with current students and meet them,” he said. “I think that the arts program at Nueva is not emphasized enough to applicants, but there have been many recent efforts to change that.” While the first coffeehouse fell in the fall/winter and offered hot chocolate and small snacks, the second took place in warmer and longer days. Jordan and Willow decided on offering sliders and tater tots from Jack's Prime. The organizers met after the “Arts Opening x Coffeehouse” event to debrief the successes and areas for improvement for next year. Willow, Jordan, and Jason agreed that while it had been a successful event, they would probably split the arts opening from the coffeehouse in the future. The intention would be to offer more opportunities and different venues for the arts to be spotlighted and celebrated.

4 / NEWS



Spring trips in photos

Returning from the many corners of the globe, students and faculty reminisce over memories Eli C. During their trip to Peru, the freshmen were split up into seven groups that participated in a variety of activities, from visiting museums to hiking Machu Picchu and cooking a wide array of local foods. Despite differing schedules of groups, all of the freshmen visited Machu Picchu, some taking four-hour train and bus rides to visit the famed world heritage site. “We got to walk around Machu Picchu, and it was really cool because we could see it and there wasn’t much mist,” Elijah D. (9) said. “The beauty of the natural landscape was amazing.” Each group got to experience unique aspects of Peru and learn more about the country’s history and culture. For the junior trips, six groups scattered across America. One group took a tiny seaplane to the Inian Islands of Alaska for several days of remote hiking, kayaking, and more. They did a multitude of activities, such as the time that Jamie Biondi, US English teacher, and his group went fishing. “We caught a halibut, which was super cool because we gutted and filleted it right there on the dock, and then smoked it and ate it for dinner,” Biondi said. They also got to trek up the mountain in the center of the island they were staying on. Shown in the photo is the view from the top: the frozen lake cloaked in fog. They got to hike past the whirring hydroelectric system that powered the entire island and slide around in the thick snow blanketing the mountain. The group stayed in a little homestead on the island. “We were basically a big family on this trip. It was very communal,” Biondi said.

For a week, the sophomores visited several sites in the tropical country of Costa Rica. “We got to hike through rainforests, boat on rivers, visit plantations, learn from researchers, and even conduct experiments. We saw everything from spider monkeys to toucans to alligators,” Tomo G. (10) said. Some groups, such as Tomo's, were able to conduct several scientific experiments. They analyzed the microbial life living inside the water reservoirs of the bromeliad plants and carried out a nighttime collection and analysis of bat species. The group also visited a local pineapple plantation. “I was told to pick two pineapples by our guide Michael. I didn’t know which ones were good,” Trevor G. (10) recalled, “but I grabbed two random ones and they were delicious!”





For their trips, the seniors also went all around America. One group flew to New York City to study the HIV/AIDS crisis through activism and art. They visited the activism exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, met with the Keith Haring Foundation, and visiting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Allen Frost, upper school [title] teacher, said that one of the highlights of the trip was “a day of political advocacy around transgender issues at the state capitol in Albany.” One theme of the New York trip was the art of Keith Haring. Keith Haring was a late1980s artist who addressed the themes of homosexuality and AIDS in his art. The group got to see Haring’s art and talk to the Keith Haring Foundation.

The Nueva Hackathon

NuevaHacks organizes a weekend-long exploration into coding Elijah D. Hushed whispers and the clacking of keyboards echoes through the gym. Despite the competitive atmosphere, the attitude among teams is jovial as students huddle in groups while designing and building their products. The Nueva Hackathon was a two-day event that began on March 30 with tech entrepreneur Dom Sagolla, one of the co-creators of Twitter, breaking the ice by introducing each team. The Upper School gym was filled with attendees and volunteers—over 50 showed for the event. A hackathon is where students meet to engage in programming. The projects ranged from train station safety to meditation. “The hackathon is a place where people can create at Nueva,” said Yash N. (9), the founder of NuevaHacks. “It’s

really cool.” Stephanie S., (10) took first place with her app Breathe Like a Bear. “With Breathe Like a Bear, I can help other students find their inner peace,” Stephanie said. She was inspired by her aunt, a yoga teacher. Stephanie wanted to design an app that would address needs she identified in her community. “I know that lots of people suffer with anxiety and stress, and I want to help them,” she said. While the majority of the participants were Nueva students, there were several groups of students from other Bay Area schools. Freshmen Daniel Mendelevitch and Jasper Wood from Kehillah Jewish High School took second place, and students from other schools—including the Harker School and Crystal Springs Uplands School—also

attended. The pair from Kehillah, working with Nueva freshman Ben G., took second place with their program called Biased, which uses machine learning to scan news articles and analyze them to determine their authors’ political stances. “Biased uses machine learning to show political leanings in news and broadcasts,” Ben said. “[Biased information] is a really pressing issue in our current climate, and I was happy to try to combat it with this project.” “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Ben added. He said that he and his team would continue to improve the product. “I really enjoyed collaborating, and the food was delicious!” “Having a major high-school hackathon is really unique to Nueva,” Yash said. “It’s a really good way to be able to meet

HACK AWAY Freshmen Karen G., Kira W., Nikki A., Audrey A., and Sophia Y. made up the team that won third place at the Nueva Hackathon.


people and create in a supportive space. You don’t need to be an expert at programming; anybody can participate in the hackathon.” Stephanie agreed with Yash. “While I do think some of my prior experience may have been helpful, coding knowledge was not a necessity to compete,” Stephanie said.

Nineteen teams were able to present their projects to the audience at the end of the second day. “It was really exciting to be able to present a project we worked so hard on,” Ben said. “I can’t wait to be able to participate in a hackathon again.”




What you didn't see at the US musical PHOTO BY JORDAN M.

In “Catch Me If You Can,” the action backstage was just as memorable as what you saw onstage Grace H.

On Friday, May 10, the house opened for the first performance of “Catch Me If You Can.” The show, directed by Play Production elective teacher Lisa Share-Sapolsky, is about Frank Abagnale Jr., a talented con artist who takes on personas ranging from an ER supervisor to a Pan Am pilot as he evades the FBI and forges millions of dollars in checks. Backstage, the cast and crew finished their rituals and walked into the wings, checking presets, doing last-minute line drills, and laughing at inside jokes. The atmosphere was relaxed, a product of weeks of late nights spent together and making the rigorous seem routine. Once the show began, the jovial feeling persisted. People in the wings danced along to “(Our) Family Tree” and mouthed the words to “Jet Set.” By opening night, they had lived and breathed the musical for long enough that singing along was practically second nature. However, the majority of the musical they all knew so well was hidden to the audience, filled with subpar patch jobs and frantic quick changes that—if all went according to plan—would never see the bright wash of stage lights. Here are a few of the things that went on behind the scenes to make “Catch Me If You Can” run. ONSTAGE: The Santa-shaped desk lamp in the FBI office turns off as the lights go down, allowing for a gentle blackout to intermission after FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (played by freshman Mel C.) realizes that “[Frank Jr.’s] a kid. He’s a kid!” OFFSTAGE: Stage crew member Libby M. (12) hides underneath Hanratty’s desk so she can cut the power to the lamp as soon as the scene ends. To hide her from the audience, a fitted black sheet is taped between the back legs of the desk. Unfortunately, the sheet falls during every performance, and nearly trips one of the FBI agents as they attempt to sit down. ONSTAGE: Two gurneys are pushed across the stage one after another by actors dressed as doctors. OFFSTAGE: Immediately after bringing the empty gurney to center stage during “Doctor’s Orders,” stage crew member Sian B. (10) walks calmly stage left until she hits the curtain, at which point she throws her metal clipboard loudly to the ground and leaps from the stage, sprints through the backstage corridor, and scrambles onto the other wing just in time to enter stage right and bring the bodycovered gurney away from the retching “doctor” Frank Jr., played by Eton S. (12). She then shoves it off the raised portion of the wing, sending it hurtling into the waiting hands of the stage-left crew.

completely different person.” ONSTAGE: Frank Jr. carries an oversized briefcase stuffed with cash onstage, offering thick stacks of bills to Brenda just prior to her ballad “Fly, Fly Away.” He then drops the case during the airport scene where it opens to reveal the cash to Hanratty and the FBI agents. OFFSTAGE: The suitcase is only lightly filled with fake bills. To give the illusion of being stuffed with money, the bills are piled on top of a masking-tape-bound bundle of rejected sexy nurse costumes—three different versions, the sort you find in budget costume shops after Halloween is over and everything’s being replaced by too-early Christmas decor. After every show, the covering of bills becomes sparser over the top (some fall from the suitcase during runs, others simply disappear); by closing night, the nurse costumes have begun to poke through, making the final moments of the show even tenser for the crew as they peer through the curtains, hoping the suspicious bundle of clothing and cash doesn’t end up liberated from the case when Frank Jr. drops it to the floor.

TOP Frank Jr. (senior Eton S.) says a heartfelt goodbye to his love interest, Brenda (sophomore Catherine C.), and warns her not to reveal his location to the FBI. PHOTO BY JORDAN M. MIDDLE LEFT Sofia I. (9), Antonetta T. (10), Catherine, and Amalia K. (10), playing flight attendants, pose with Frank Jr. (Eton) during “Jet Set.” This moment is seconds after his quick change into the pilot costume, which is assisted by four members of stage crew. PHOTO BY JORDAN M. MIDDLE RIGHT Antonetta, Eton, and Lucy B. (10) practice the dance for “Jet Set” at an early rehearsal. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y. BOTTOM The cast and crew relax on stage, read through their scripts, and fix costume pieces as they wait for notes to begin. During notes, the team will run through any critiques or commendations from the previous run in order to improve the show. PHOTO BY JORDAN M.

ONSTAGE: Eliot C. (11), as hospital supervisor Dr. Wanamaker, is questioned by several FBI agents, including Hanratty, the head of the investigation. Mere moments after the FBI agents storm off, frustrated by Wanamaker’s useless answers, the eleventh grader reappears onstage to play the father of Brenda (sophomore Catherine C.), Frank Jr.’s love interest. OFFSTAGE: Preparation for Eliot’s quick change, described as “infamous” by propmaster Abby P. (10), starts eight scenes prior to the change itself, when Abby presets his clothing in the

wing. Three scenes before the change, she takes his shoes and puts them in place them as well; Eliot performs Wanamaker in only his socks as Libby and Sian prepare to aid him with the switch. “As soon as we heard Eliot’s footsteps I would turn on my intercom to give our director updates on the quick change as it happened,” Abby said. “Eliot would immediately begin ripping off his outer layer of clothes as Sian and Libby put on his other costume pieces in under 15 seconds. We would finish, give Lisa the cue, and Eliot would enter as a

ONSTAGE: The actors’ microphones don’t stop functioning even with the sweat from hours spent in the heat of the stage lights. The head stays stuck to the body on the gurney, the headboard of Frank’s bed has yet to detach entirely, and the blinds on the gym’s huge windows don’t have (very much) light leaking through. OFFSTAGE: Parents go on a particularly odd shopping trip, returning with 80 condoms and five rolls of gaffer tape. Stage microphones have two parts: the microphone itself and the plasticencased electronics—“mic packs”— that take input from the microphones and send it to the soundboard and speakers. To keep the mic packs safe from moisture, they are slipped into condoms, which need to be switched out for every pack, every day—and sometimes every run, depending on how well they’re holding together. In “Catch Me If You Can,” a show with 15 microphones, three performances, and two dress rehearsals, a total of 80 condoms were eventually used on stage (give or take the few that were made into balloons). Meanwhile, the gaffer’s tape is used for practically everything backstage: covering up reflective logos on stage crew’s clothing, preventing the headboard of Frank Jr.’s childhood bed from falling off and crushing someone, and even closing the gaps between the shades and the walls to make blackouts darker, thus hiding actors and crew alike as they trip off stage or drag on new sets, trying in vain to avoid crashing into each other.




Teachers’ reading recommendations

From books about teenage summers to explorations about race in America, your teachers have given some great options for summer reads Jordan M.

Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee

“This zippy novel is a summer delight—it concerns a young woman, recently graduated from college, who’s struggling to find her place in New York society. Along the way, she navigates her Korean American heritage, romantic relationships, and the challenge of finding meaningful work. I think it’s a terrific choice for high school students, and it’s a real page turner!”



“It is said that Dune is one of the seminal works of modern science fiction. I couldn't agree more. It is magical and mind expanding as it deals with issues of governmental control, environmental impact, religion, and mysticism. I have read this book every summer since I discovered it when I was 15 and it is still relevant.”

“Homegoing intensely and compassionately traces how generations of one African family are affected by the slave trade: while some members of the family are exploited by this harrowing system, other members of the family are themselves the exploiters. Homegoing is perhaps the best book I read this past year. It imaginatively explores how historical trauma can affect people’s lives many generations later.”

by Frank Herbert

—Danielle McReynolds-Dell, US Math Teacher

—Allen Frost, Director of the Innovative Teacher Program

by Yaa Gyasi

—Saya Jenks, US English & Drama Teacher

Esperanza Renace (Esperanza Rising) “An Octoroon”

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “If you are thinking critically about race and its representation in art in America, you need to read this play. I have not been moved by a play like I was by this one in a long time.” —Jamie Biondi, US English & Drama Teacher

—Francisco Becerra-Hernandez, US Spanish Teacher *Pick up a copy of the Spanish version on Francisco’s desk!

by Diane Ehrensaft

“This book is a great introduction to the transgender community as well as how to best support them. It is written primarily for parents, but I think you can learn a lot on how to provide a safe space for your transgender or gender-fluid friends as well as learn to be even more empathetic to their situation through the exemplified stories.”

by Ralph Ellison

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

“The power of journalism prevails. Detailed, immersive, and meticulous in its reporting, this book gripped me all the way through.” —LiAnn Yim, US Journalism Teacher

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo

“This is a great framework for understanding why conversations about race and racism can be so challenging for white people. DiAngelo provides insights into root causes of aversive responses and offers strategies for having more successful conversations about race and racism. Highly recommended!” —Michaela Danek, US Science Teacher

—Ed Chen, Director of Technology

Invisible Man

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

“This is a book students from intermediate Spanish levels can read easily. It is a great way to keep practicing Spanish over the summer reading a good book.”

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes

“We often don’t have time during the school year to read some of the most important works of American literature simply because these books are too long—I highly recommend students check out great American novels like Moby Dick to have a broader sense of everything American literature has to offer.” —Lily Brown, US English Teacher

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

“This is a fantastic read for those, like me, who feel like they should be spending less time on their devices and more time engaging with others.” —Jeremy Jacquot, US Science Teacher

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Poems to inspire your summer Elizabeth B. P. Summer is often filled with lethargy—long days by a pool, a picnic in the park, a sleepover with friends camping out on one of your roofs—but casual reading is often neglected. So here are a few poems to jumpstart your literary summer. “Fireflies in the Garden” by Robert Frost This is good for warm, starry July or for any students who spend summers in states that actually have fireflies. Classic poet Frost has a short, beautiful writing style, pretty rhyme, and a spare, specific voice. “Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, / And here on earth come emulating flies, / That though they never equal stars in size, / (And they were never really stars at heart) / Achieve at times a very star-like start. / Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.”

“Bath” by Amy Lowell This poem is lethargic, lazy, and great for June mornings. Reading in the bath is a bad idea because water and paper don’t mix, but if you could, this would be a good poem to read (especially because it’s about a bath). The descriptive tone and the carefree voice of the protagonist adds to the almost spring-like vibe. To be read in early summer or just before the start of school. “The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bathtub / in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to / bright light.” “Fides, Spes” by Willa Cather Willa Cather’s shorter poem is descriptive, full of beautiful metaphor, and lights up her idea of summer with her vivid writing style. While this lacks the cultural meaning of many

of her other pieces, it speaks with her writing style and is an exemplar of concise beauty. “Stars are come to the dogwood, / Astral, pale; / Mists are pink on the red-bud, / Veil after veil.” “Stravinsky in L.A.” by Elizabeth Alexander The poem, reflective of a warm summer’s day, is a descriptive, specific, beautiful scene in L.A., evocative of the humid heat of summer. The style is strong, short, and energetic, with a poetic style that breaks from the traditional, flowery poetry that often describes the seasons. Alexander’s poetry is always beautiful and somewhat surreal, but this is especially suitable for a start to the summer. “What is the visual equivalent / of syncopation? Rows of seared palms wrinkle / in the heat waves through green glass. Sprinklers

/ tick, tick, tick. The Watts Towers aim to split / the sky into chroma, spires tiled with rubble / nothing less than aspiration.” “When Lilacs Last In the Dooryard Bloom’d” by Walt Whitman For a more bittersweet and less flowery elegiac poem, look no further than this slightly longer Whitman piece. Best to read later in the day, possibly outdoors—as many of his poems are meant to be read. This one is longer than many of the others, but good for downtime or a contemplative moment between activities. Equally as important to a reading of the poem is its historical context in the aftermath of the Civil War, which may be a good supplement to any history buffs’ reading. “With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air, / With the fresh sweet

herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific, / In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there…” The famous Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare Sonnet 18 may be pretentious because of its writer’s reputation, but it’s one of the most famous lines of poetry and evokes summer. Sonnets are always a good choice of short poetry, and for rising 12th graders, Shakespeare is especially relevant to the English curriculum. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate. / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”




The Jonas Brothers are “Burnin’ Up”

The revival of the 2000s has brought back fond childhood memories for fans Mira D. & Miki Y. From the “Camp Rock” movies to the catchy song “Year 3000,” the nostalgia that the Jonas Brothers bring is hard to resist. Fans from the 2000s will remember the TV sitcom “Jonas” and the many pop songs that they memorized, and but ever since their split devastated fans in 2013, the fanbase has longed for a Jonas Brothers revival. The now-reunited Jonas Brothers have inspired nostalgia among 2000s kids and have helped their now-adult fans realize how much pop culture has changed. Rachel D. (11) remembers watching both of the “Camp Rock” movies several times and listening to the Jonas Brothers music. She has been following the trio ever since they came up on Disney channel back in 2009. Along with many other young girls, she liked their appearance and the way they presented themselves, but now appreciates and

values how they are including aspects of their real life and families instead of a given public persona. The change in their lyrics, appearance, and fanbase shows how other childhood actors and musicians have matured and brought a shift in their community and culture. “It’s interesting to see how being childhood stars shaped their lives and how different their persona is [now],” Rachel said. Similarly, Jason Pham, a writer at celebrity news and beauty website Stylecaster, commented on the two different ways they have presented themselves. “If the Jonas Brothers' ‘Sucker’ is evidence of anything, it’s that being single is marketable but so are real relationships,” Pham wrote. The Jonas Brothers are able to remain popular as both single, young boys on Disney Channel and mature adults with relationships. This is just one example of how their persona has changed and allowed them to attract a new fanbase while preserving the old. Claire Yeo, US English teacher and twelve-grade dean emphasizes how much the actors have changed since being seen on the screen. “It’s not seeing the shows, but seeing the actors and how they’ve changed,” Yeo commented. As entertaining as the shows can be, Yeo’s focus is seeing how actors evolve and progress as people over time. The extraction from working with Disney has allowed the Jonas Brothers to include more mature and sophisticated lyrics, not hold back from expressing themselves or including mature and some sexual content with their music videos, and draw the

THEN AND NOW The Jonas Brothers back in 2006 versus 2016. (PHOTO COURTESY OF E NEWS)

attention of older audiences as well. While the Jonas Brothers have had some obstacles through their journey, they have emphasized the tremendous impact and support from their fans. “Our fans are the best in the world and have shared in our journey as the Jonas Brothers and us as individuals,” they said together in an interview with ETOnline. They are very excited to show fans their new “intimate and compelling” documentary, titled “Chasing Happiness,” with a tour to premiere the film in August. Not only do the Gen Z kids wish for a Jonas Brothers revival, but they also want to see other childhood stars come back. The Jonas Brothers’ return has sparked the question of whether other pop sensations of their time will also have a revival. There is hope that bands and actors from Big Time Rush, The Cheetah Girls, and Hannah Montana, will reunite or have a relaunch. Rachel notes that rewatching episodes of her favorite Disney shows

and listening to throwback songs like “S.O.S.” and “Lovebug” definitely provide for moments of peace and allows her to breathe. Rachel also describes how these reunions of actors and bands act as a way to remember what life was like back then. “Having younger Disney actors and bands coming back helps us remember what it’s like without all this technology and stress,” Rachel commented. “All these pop sensations have given me a different perspective on the social aspect with their complicated lives changing from such early success.” Noted as the “preeminent male group of the century” by Teen Vogue, the Jonas Brothers have transcended the nostalgia circuit with their emergence back into pop culture. They have been happily welcomed back into the social atmosphere with their new music and persona and have aroused sentimental feelings for old heartthrob fans.

Summer movies from the 1990s and 2000s to rewatch Here are some classic movies to kickstart your summer Elizabeth B. P. High school summer movies of the ‘90s and early 2000s have their fair share of problems—stereotypes, cruelty, insensitive portrayal of many groups, and the near-ubiquitous mistreatment of their female characters—but some are truly funny, heartfelt, or insightful stories. Moving past The Revenge of the Nerds and American Pie-style movies, here are some of the true highlights of the classic comedy decades. Dirty Dancing A classic across generations, the classic Swayze movie features upbeat music, a hopeful cast, and a sharp critique of gender roles while still holding fast to the classic summer movie plotline. It's certainly true to its time and would hopefully be more nuanced now, but it's also unafraid to examine the way teenagers interact with each other and the world around them. Besides, its cultural impact has ripples even to this day, so it’s an essential movie for any young viewer.

The Goonies Another classic, yes, but The Goonies is a great mystery-slash-childhood-slashpirate film that breaks genre, while still remaining lighthearted through most of it. It’s got some great lessons (don’t judge a book by its cover, have hope, don’t be bigoted), all mixed in with the fun pirate-legend story that really gives off a nineties comedy vibe. As the basis for a lot of the aesthetic of Stranger Things, The Goonies may seem cozy, too!


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

High School Musical 2

Grease is a true back-to-school classic that watches teens on the other side of summer vacation, after they come back from their gallivants across continents. It’s definitely dated (seriously, what was up with the T-Birds?), but at its core, there are some good, heartfelt moments and, even though the entire cast looks about twice the age they’re supposed to be, they convey the story so well that the awkward moments really get a person cringing.

The ultimate high school movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has aged surprisingly well for a classic comedy. It’s quick-witted, with great breaks of the fourth wall and characters that have serious depth to them. This movie is great for kids who have yet to go to high school and even better for current high schoolers; it’s at once a funny representation of a student suffering from senioritis, a lesson in personal autonomy and the nature of adulthood, and a reminder that change is the only constant. Plus, it’s absolutely hilarious.

Typical, recommending a sequel instead of the first in a franchise would be a mistake, but High School Musical was such a ubiquitous movie throughout Gen-Z kids that those who haven’t seen the first are somewhat few—although perhaps more than average at Nueva. It may be cheesy, silly, and cinematically low-quality, but it’s a feel-good classic great for sick days or watching while doing something else. Its greatest merit, however, is its place in the Disney movie canon of kids born in the early 2000s, who grew up on Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Suite Life on Deck.




Unlocking the key to escaping sexism in STEM STEMinism club creates escape rooms to educate about important female figures in STEM Amanda W. Students were scrambling to finish each crossword, each logic table, hoping to learn just a little bit more about important female STEM figures. Each puzzle gives a clue to help get the escapees one step closer to their breakout. The escapees are not only able to enjoy a stimulating round of an escape room, but can also learn a lot about the lives of the many who were silenced or uncredited for their discoveries. These educational escape rooms were created by the STEMinism club, spearheaded by sophomores Isabelle A., Catherine C., and Lauren W. The club hosted three escape rooms on consecutive Thursday afternoons in May, with each room themed around a different influential female STEM role model. The STEMinism club’s mission is to empower women in STEM and to foster a love of STEM (which stands

UNLOCK ME! STEMinism club members used many physical puzzles, such as lockboxes and combination locks, to challenge the escapees. In the Lise Meitner themed escape room, users solved these puzzles to uncover the evidence of Meitner’s discovery. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.

for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). They have already begun to do so—during the year, they helped organize the Nueva Math Circle, as well as the Celebration of Coding workshops that took place at the Lower School. “One of the goals of our club is to make it for anyone. STEMinism isn’t just for girls,” Isabelle said. The STEMinism club is already meeting this goal, as the club already has a “good gender balance,” with a 3:2 ratio of girls to boys, according to the leaders. Their most recent initiative was these escape rooms, which were inspired by a middle-school math project that Catherine and Isabelle worked on together. “We were looking through our old stuff, and thought, ‘Haha! Wouldn’t it be funny to do a STEMinism escape room?’” Catherine recalled, chuckling with her co-leads. “And then everyone was like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it!’” And thus, the escape rooms were born, as many of members “had that same love,” Lauren said. The club split its members into three groups to work on the three different escape rooms, each with a different theme centered around a different STEMinism role model. One was about chemistry, inspired by the life of Lise Meitner. The second dove into cryptology, celebrating the life of Elizebeth Smith Friedman. The third was about electrical engineering and schematics, revolving around Edith Clarke. Each group of students analyzed a different figure and created a story, and, eventually, the escape room puzzles to

accompany it. “For example, one woman discovered nuclear fission and she did not end up getting a Nobel prize, but a man got credit for her work,” Catherine said. “So the story of the escape room is that she got locked in the lab by the man, and she had to make it out in time for the awards ceremony,” Isabelle added. Stories like these incorporate different puzzles that challenged both the user and the makers. The STEMinism club subgroups to created these escapes rooms, brainstorming of the theme and plot, then creating riddles to correspond with the life of these role models. Once the groups finished creating their storyline, the groups were able to test each others’ rooms. “It was fun though, because we had to make the groups keep it a secret from each other, but sometimes they would lock themselves in the room,” Catherine said. The rooms were filled with lockboxes, hidden message puzzles, crosswords, and logic tables each helping the escapees get one step closer to uncovering the details about each female figure. In the room about Lise Meitner, participants scrambled to solve puzzles to unlock the box with proof of her role in the discovery of nuclear fission. “They were fun puzzles,” participant Daniel H. (10) described. “But it was surprising to learn how many times husbands have taken credit for the work mostly done by

STEMINISM SOPHOMORES TOP ROW: Aidan P., Evan S., Claire G., Annie Z. BOTTOM ROW: Catherine C., Lauren W., Isabelle A. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.

their wives, and that background of knowing the taken credit was very impactful.” All of this is done with the incredible mentorship of the computer science teacher Jen Selby, the club’s faculty advisor and the club leaders’ biggest inspiration. “Jen Selby!” Isabelle, Catherine, and Lauren all exclaimed together, nodding their heads and smiling. “She works very hard and is very supportive and definitely very patient. She just knows a lot of cool things!” The STEMinism club hopes to continue to educate all audiences about the importance of gender representation in the STEM field through more fun and engaging activities like these.


The role of adolescent development in education Anna K. The Nueva Current features an interview with a professional scientist every issue, ranging from psychologists to nutritionists.


Columnist Anna K. writes the Q&Astyle piece, which we publish to inform readers of scientific knowledge, discoveries, and research that may be valuable for them to know about.

Heather Malin is the director of research at the Center on Adolescence at Stanford University. Her research focuses on how young people develop purpose in different domains, and the capacity for meaningful contribution to their communities. She is interested in the application of this research to education practice; her work explores how schools can support students in developing purpose. She is the author of the book, Teaching for Purpose: Preparing Students for Lives of Meaning (2018).

What initially attracted you to work in the field of purpose development? I was an art teacher, and decided I was more interested in doing research about education, and artistic development, particularly what goes on in people’s mind when they make art and how art helps you grow. So I went to Stanford to get my Ph.D. and to do research. While I was there, I became a research assistant for Professor Bill Damon. The way Dr. Damon talked about purpose was…[that it was] about figuring out what’s really meaningful and it’s a way that you can contribute to the world beyond the self. So I caught on to that idea and just kept doing more and more research and doing more and more interviews, especially with teenagers and adolescents—we do 11–23 years old, approximately. And just doing more interviews and talking with more people and finding out more about what matters to young people and why they do what they do and why they set goals that they set. And it just, it was all very, really fascinating. I actually am still working with Bill Damon and I started 11 years ago.

Why do many individuals not acquire full capacity for dedicating themselves to a purpose? In our research, we think about the dimensions of purpose: of having a beyondthe-self motivation, having a goal that’s really meaningful to you, and taking action on it. What we see is that people have either none of those pieces, or they have some of them, or they have all of them. The people who have none of them, we would say they’re drifting—they don’t really have any goals that are that important to them. They’re not really thinking about what’s going on in the world beyond themselves. They don’t have any goals so they’re not acting on goals. Some people have really strong goals or aspirations—things they want to do and they know they want to contribute to the world—but they just don’t know how to do it. Some people are doing a lot of stuff: they volunteer, they try out a lot of things, they get involved at a lot of clubs. But they haven’t really formed any kind of goal or direction for making that meaningful to them. And so why do some people not develop purpose?

[It] depends on which of those categories they fall into. If someone has a lot of big dreams but doesn’t know how to act on them, I would say that person isn’t getting the support they need to find opportunities to take action or they don’t see those opportunities; maybe they lack the kind of sense that they can accomplish something. We’d call that cadency or efficacy—that might be missing. I think that people who do a lot of different things but haven’t really formed a cohesive goal or direction maybe haven’t really thought a lot about what their strongest values are or what really matters to them. And so they’re not able to shape all of those activities into something that’s really meaningful. People who don’t have any of those dimensions maybe [just aren’t] connecting with anything that might give them a sense of meaning or purpose yet. In what ways, according to your research, can schools help students develop a purpose? Some of the general things that we believe based on the research is that a lot of it has

to do with relationships—the teacher and student relationships and the climate that’s created in the school, in the classroom. That those things are set up so that students feel safe and that they have a sense that what matters to them is welcome into the classroom, that they belong in the classroom, [and] that they can explore things that are meaningful to them in the classroom. Do you have any advice for teenagers about how to lead intentional and fulfilling lives? Taking the time to reflect on and think about what matters to you and why, and then applying that to goals. There’s just so much pressure now to think about the next step…and making sure you’re doing all the right things to get to the college stuff. And that there isn’t enough time to step back and just think about “What is this for? Who am I, and what it is that I want? And what do I value? What’s important to me?” At the end of the day, I would just suggest trying things and taking action in whatever way is possible.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019 1





Welcome to B Street Books As the independent bookstore celebrates 11 years in San Mateo, the value of locality comes into the spotlight

1: One of the many aisles that cross-sect each other to form the labyrinthine structure of B Street Books, featuring one of the numerous, huge windows in the store. 2: Lew Cohen, the owner and manager of B Street, sits behind the cash register. Before becoming an antiquarian bookseller, he was a private investigator for 35 years. 3: This edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the many antique and rare books B Street sells. 4: A small globe stands in as a book stopper in the back of the store. Similarly eclectic book stoppers adorn every shelf. 5: While many of the books are neatly shelved, the store also has piles of books overflowing from the shelves. PHOTOS BY WILLOW C. Y.


Those armchairs are a favorite of Katie Lunardi, a high schooler from San Mateo High School who has visited B Street nearly every month since she was young. She says she likes B Street for their relatively cheap prices as well as their wide selection. “If you go to like a regular bookstore, it’s kind of hard to just stumble upon cool things,” Lunardi said. Lyz B. P. (11) has also been a frequent patron of the store since she was 6. She said she was a “really bookish little kid” and would spend hours reading in B Street. “There was this fuzzy armchair right by the window with all the sun, so it was always really warm and was a perfect size for a kid to sit and read,” she said. “That’s how I got through part of the Harry Potter series, which I hated when I started it—I read one entire Harry Potter book in an afternoon there.” As she grew up, she found herself having less time to read—but whenever she wanted to buy books, she would go to independent bookstores like Books Inc., Kepler’s, and especially B Street, since it sold at lower prices. Additionally, as she began to transition into “hard literature,” B Street became one of her go-tos. “I would go mostly to B Street Books because they had a bunch of obscure ones,” Lyz said. “I found this book of poems by one of my favorite poets, who was very rarely sold in stores. I feel like there are unusual works there that I couldn’t find anywhere else.” For both teens, B Street has had an impact on their lives. To Lyz, since books and stories have always been “really important” to her, B Street was a place for her to go when she couldn’t go the library or needed to buy a book, “or just really anytime I needed to be near literature.” Lunardi also finds that B Street has been a welcome constant in her life. “It has a comforting sort of feeling because it hasn’t changed,” Lunardi said. ——— Despite its steadfast position in the

downtown San Mateo landscape for the past decade, B Street and other regional businesses still face a common challenge: the disappearance of local stores. This problem is a pervasive and well-documented issue, and one that has been at the center of many a debate surrounding oft-discussed homelessness and gentrification. Due to the continued influx of chain stores in B Street’s area and surrounding cities, individually owned establishments with nearly exclusively local patrons find themselves competing with nationally run corporations with familiar brands and a seemingly bottomless following; and combined with rising property prices, many of the local stores find themselves struggling or unable to survive financially. Most of the stores that can afford to stay are those owned by national corporations, whose pockets are deep and network of stores robust. (Although, as the high turnover of all stores suggests, space has become costly even for the corporations.) Many of B Street’s local bookstore predecessors had also been forced out, like Central Park Books that lived just a few blocks down and San Francisco’s Stacey’s, which B Street had bought antique bookcases from, and which “suffered the same fate as all the litany of bookstores [that] have gone out of business,” as Cohen put it. However, a few local businesses who have managed to keep afloat; B Street is evidently one, a feat Cohen says is a result of his constant, six-days-a-week presence, “making good choices, and being really careful about what we spend money on.” “The way this store survives is...providing good customer service, so people come back, and being careful with payroll and keeping a lid on [all expenses],” Cohen said. The appeal of chain stores like Barnes & Noble, he says, lies in their wide assortment of books and staying atop the fast trends in the books business. To be able to keep up with those is a costly luxury; one that B Street can’t always afford but Cohen doesn’t harbor resentment toward. “It’s impossible to be up on everything. You want to have [some] stuff that’s current, [but] it can get stale pretty fast in today’s world,” he noted. Indeed, one of the strongest argu-

ments for the value of chain bookstores versus local ones is that they provide a wider breadth of books and more current appeals with high turnovers; they’re also connected to corporate warehouses which provide them with books in bulk, allowing the stores to offer them at lower prices. Further than that, they wield a kind of soft power, inasmuch as customers tend to trust them to provide consistency in safety, quality, selection, and comfort, since the customers know what to expect. All this, of course, is at the expense of what local stores tend to contribute: character, depth in selection, community connection, and, in a rather meta way, the feel-good of helping out a local business. It’s these characteristics that are often relied upon when local bookstores market themselves and activists make their arguments for keeping native businesses. B Street is no exception. The store itself is eclectic in its wide range of books, like the leather-bound, leather-cased Sabbatica by John Barth

is a well-visited site for a number of locals looking either buy, sell, or simply browse. “Having a place where books can be available for cheap and the people there are really nice and always willing to help you find what you need [is really important to me,]” said Lyz, who also notes that supporting the locality of B Street is also a large factor in choosing B Street. “Independent bookstores also carry all these other books. Often independent bookstores have often those [that are available at other bookstores], but also ones that aren’t.” ———

Over the years, Cohen says, he’s gotten a lot of positive feedback on B Street. “People say it’s really well organized, nicely arranged, with a really nice selection compared to other stores. They’ve been in to compare it and rate it very highly,” he said with a quiet pride. “I think the community really values the store and is appreciative that it’s here.” To Cohen, the impact of B Street always goes back to the community it creates. “It’s really fun to see kids grow up, see their reading levels go up,” he said. “I’ve gotten to see little kids come in with their parents, and then go off to college.” And while the DOG DAYS Nana, one of the employees’ labradoodle mix, who frequents store has five years the store, lounges on a couch in the children’s section of the store. At 2 left on its lease and 1/2, she is the “unofficial mascot” of B Street Books, according to her although the busiowner. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y. ness may not be as lucrative as others, it has more than shelved next to the shiny paperback satisfied Cohen’s need, over a decade The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard, ago, to do something different. or the ledge of stuffed Muppet toys, “I’m not getting rich—certainly or the thumbtacked, cardstock photo rich in spirit—but I did put two kids through college. I have no debt,” Cohen of “Blessed Mother Theresa,” as the said. “It’s hard work, but it’s it’s good overlaid text reads. In addition to (and, maybe, because of) the decorative odds work.” and ends that the store sports, the shop





Story by Gitika P. | Design by Jordan M. & Freepik


Dr. Anna Lembke, Associate Professor and Medical Director of Addiction Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, suggests this behaviour is rooted in human biology and evolution. “I speculate that social media platforms trigger dopamine release, the pleasure neurotransmitter, in the brain’s reward pathway, particularly when we anticipate a reward and we get it,” she says. One can expect a pulse of dopamine, for example, each time someone important to them ‘likes’ their photo on Instagram. While social media is a relatively new aspect of the human experience, its premise—to connect with and discover people—is not. “Young adulthood is the time when humans need to venture forth into the world and find a mate, so are more curious about other people, and more relationship seeking than at other times of life,” Lembke says. “Hence, social media plays a bigger role in their lives.” Social media companies and major content creators are aware of these phenomena, and have rushed to monetize it in every way possible. I-Lab teacher John Feland, who spent nearly a decade analyzing consumer behaviour on social media platforms, has witnessed a transformation of user experiences. “These platforms are now constantly vying to steal attention from the things that matter to you,” he explains. “And why wouldn’t they? The more time you spend on it, the more they can go back to advertisers and say that you are engaging with their content. This, in turn, increases the platform’s value.”

Ways to Stop Your Social Media Addiction • Turn off your notifications to prevent getting distracted • Set a time limit for your social media usage • Try new hobbies to get your mind off of your phone • Identify why you are addicted so you know how to stop it


Instagram’s move from chronological to algorithmic timelines is an example of this strategy. By showing users content based on their browsing and viewing histories, they are more likely to engage with this content and relevant advertisements seamlessly slipped between. Facebook and Twitter’s “pull-torefresh” feature satisfies a desire for unpredictable rewards, while the infinite scroll keeps users online. And, of course, Snapchat streaks require daily usage to maintain. It is no surprise then that the Pew Research Center reported that at least 85% of American teenagers used one or more social media platforms in 2018. Despite its seemingly ubiquitous presence in their lives, however, the same study revealed a lack of consensus among them about its influence: 45% felt that social media had a neutral impact, while the remainder was split between positive or negative associations. Nueva students are similarly divided on the issue, though many of them are acutely aware of the extensive research linking adolescent mental illness to social media usage.

85%OFAMERICAN TEENAGERS USED ONE OR MORE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMSIN2018 “Social media comes up pretty often in [Science of Mind], sometimes in the most random contexts. We will be talking about something completely unrelated, like alternative mental health medicine, and it will work its way in,” says Quincy A. (11). “We know it has a big impact on us, especially being in high school.” Lembke explains this impact as a corollary of her Instagram example; just as a “like” will stimulate dopamine production in the brain, the lack thereof will decrease baseline levels of the chemical. People also tend to depict idealized versions of themselves online, which can decrease self-esteem due to a natural tendency to compare oneself to others.

“If you think of sma do, then it’s easy to u anxiety and depressio also why increased sm to anxiety and depres Many teenagers, b al, are thus placed in negatively impacted b loosen its grip on the For Rajeev S. (9), h by choice, but by forc “It’s so addictive, a part of my life,” he ad connect with friends, ber meetings, and rem to complete.” Rajeev has taken st social media detoxes spent online. And he of 172 students, 40% media for an extende hours to almost a yea Taking 24-hour “sm ke says, can help one usage has gotten. Tha through with it. Most feeling better about t teem, and future soci tox, but express conc connection with frien “My daily life defin much better,” says Ra such a huge part of m


nk of smartphones as a drug, which I easy to understand why people with depression might use them more, and reased smartphone use might contribute d depression,” she says. nagers, both at Nueva and in generplaced in a tricky situation: they feel mpacted by social media, but struggle to p on their lives. v S. (9), his social media usage feels “not ut by force.” dictive, and it’s becoming such a [large] e,” he admits. “I need social media to h friends, maintain my schedule, remems, and remind myself about tasks I need ” s taken steps to limit his usage: he takes detoxes and attempts to moderate time . And he is not alone: in an online survey nts, 40% reported having left social extended period time, varying from 48 ost a year, and 35% track their usage. -hour “smartphone holidays,” Lembhelp one realize how compulsive their otten. That is, when they can follow it. Most survey respondents note r about their time management, self-esture social media habits when they deess concerns about boredom and losing with friends. life definitely changes and it gets so ” says Rajeev. “[But social media] is part of my life that I start to miss it



How do you detox from social media? Photos courtesy of iClickSmiles

and get anxious. Whether it’s a conversation with a friend I haven't seen or talked to recently, or someone I consistently hang out with, I’m worried that I'll miss it.” Lembke also recommends setting limits on both when and how one uses their smartphone. “Don’t use in bed when you should be sleeping, or mealtimes when you could be talking, or class time when you should be listening,” she says. “You’re not as good at multitasking as you think you are, and you miss out when you’re distracted by your phone.” With “very few people” she can personally count on to not pick up their phone in conversations, Eleanor M. (10) intentionally keeps her device away in social contexts. She is also one of the many people who relies on the new iOS Screen Time monitor to regulate herself. Eleanor previously used the tracking application Moment, though social media platforms themselves—Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube— can be configured to notify users when they reach a self-imposed time limit as well. “I find that I feel better the less time I spend on my phone and laptop,” she says. “So I try to limit the amount that I use devices for non-homework and creative ends.” The temptation to mindlessly scroll through timelines is stronger than ever, but Nueva students are getting creative about avoiding it. Regardless of the method, Lembke’s underlying advice for teenagers is clear: “Don’t let your smartphone be the boss of you.”

12 / FEATURES A WILD VIEW Celia M. (12) looks out on Elfin Cove after a hike around the island. PHOTO BY ZULIE M.



Venture into the Alaskan wilderness Students are inspired to join the fight against climate change through transformative school trip Zulie M.

Water sparkles under the sun, waves crashing against the sides of the red kayaks and rocking the passengers. “Whales!” Someone yells suddenly in the distance. Heads turn to the point where the ocean meets the bay. For a moment no one sees anything. Then, out of the water rises a jagged grey point, followed by fins performing an impossibly graceful turn midair. The sound of the massive creature hitting the water echos around the cove, and its tail emerges from below the surface, a sight more dazzling than any photograph. The rest of the pod follows, though no jump is as spectacular as the first. Eventually, everyone rows on. This is Glacier Bay National Park, between islands off the coast of mainland Alaska. This year, 11 juniors flew over 3,000 miles north for the trips program. Students spent six days exploring the wilderness and learning about climate change firsthand in an area suffering from its detrimental impacts. The Alaska trip has been an official Nueva

trip for only two years, taking place first in the summer of 2017. Recently, it has moved from a summer opportunity to one of the April trips for juniors, paving the way for more opportunities for students to go. The experience is led by Zach Brown, climate activist and founder of the Inian Islands Institute, where students were based for most of the trip. Students begin the trip in Gustavus, Brown’s hometown. The small island town has a population of under 500 people and is a hub for environmentally conscious, community-oriented citizens. Here, they camped out and explored the island. Senior Kayla W., who has attended the trip two years in a row, described her favorite moment of the program as a hike around the town. Her group got caught in a rising tide and chose to swim through a river to reach the beach where they were camping out. “There was no other option,” Kayla said. “Alaska is a prime place for this because the elements control you more

than you can control them.” This first part of the trip in Gustavus is centered around experiencing the communities of Alaska and what it feels like to live there, what it feels like to face ungovernable nature every day. The second part takes place at the Inian Islands Institute. This portion of the trip, as described by senior Celia M., is “focused on observing and confronting climate change.” Students learn about the beautiful natural landscape and the incredible history of Alaska, as well as witnessing first hand the negative impacts of climate change. Once in the islands, the group stayed at the Inian Islands Institute lodge. Students hiked across the island and saw “purely wild” nature, as Sophia H. (12) said. This part of the trip also included a day of kayaking around the islands and a boat ride through the ice of Glacier Bay, where students truly begin to experience climate change. “Seeing glaciers melt right in front of us and hearing them break was so aston-

concentrate on the thoughts, but rather to focus on your awareness of the present. To notice the little spots of tension in your back, the coolness of the breeze on your leg or the exhaustion in your arm. Relaxation came easily for me once I knew where to look. Despite its deceptive simplicity, my practice wasn’t without fault. There were many nights where I realized that I hadn’t meditated that day and had to scramble to do my daily session before midnight. At these times, it felt more like a chore than something that could improve my well-being, and racing to meditate only to go back to what I was doing before probably hindered my practice more than helped. I felt I wasn’t implementing mindfulness in a way that could benefit both me and the people around me. Meditation has been encouraged for stressed-out teenagers, and seems to have worked well for me. I was curious if the practice could help Nueva students with their stress and wellbeing. “Nueva students have so much going on in their minds all the time,” said Olivia Barber, upper school SOM teacher. “That’s something that comes with being really intellectual...and having a lot of great ideas. In general as a community there is a lot of stress and anxiety that exists here.”


“The three most important words in mindfulness meditation are ‘simply begin again.’” This is how the fiveminute-long second session in “The Basics” meditation course begins. It’s a Sunday night. I’m sitting in the middle of my carpet in my bedroom. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. I am sitting. Inhale. Exhale. My shoulders are sore. I probably should empty out my backpack. What do I have for homework? Wait—Stop. Inhale. Exhale. Focus on your breath. Begin again. Led by the world-renowned meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, this meditation course is found in the app Ten Percent—a company that was ranked #1 in The New York Times for best meditation app. The Basics are simple, allowing users to easily start their meditation journey. Created by ABC news correspondent Dan Harris after he suffered a panic attack on live television, the app introduces meditation to skeptics in a way that keeps users engaged and in touch with their emotions through different breathing techniques and awareness activities. With a goal of of increasing personal awareness of the world around us, Ten Percent uses meditation to push users to learn about their own perceptions and selves—and increase happiness by 10%. “We have such a strong tendency to judge everything around us... But we are always changing, and so is everything around us,” said Jade Weston Kranz, a Senior Meditation Producer at Ten Percent Happier. “By sitting and getting to know my own mind, I've learned not

to take myself so seriously. I have more appreciation for life.” This appreciation stems from learning about oneself through the practice. By sitting and realizing how busy the mind is, you tend to realize how much happier you can be. “When you sit still for a long time and watch your own thoughts arise and fall away again and again, you start to see how much you unconsciously get in the way of your own well-being and happiness—not to mention the wellbeing and happiness of those around you,” Kranz said. “Meditation makes it possible for us to live with intention.” As someone who often feels overwhelmed by the stresses of school and extracurriculars, I wanted to integrate mindfulness into my life. Meditation was a way to slow down for a few minutes every day and regain my focus before I returned to my work. So I challenged myself to meditate every day for 30 days—to take a breath, reconnect, and lift my foot from the gas pedal. After spotting the app on the front page of the App Store, I settled on Ten Percent Happier. It’s a cheery, inviting app with a minimalist cherry-colored circle for its logo. Being as new to meditation as I was, “The Basics” was my starting point; seven guided sessions, each a bit longer than the previous. Despite the shortness of each episode, I wanted to go through the courses slowly, leisurely; I felt that if I rushed through, racing to complete one lesson per day, the learning points of each wouldn’t stick, so I did one session each day for seven days. The purpose of meditation, as I soon learned, is neither to clear the mind, nor



Isabel C.



How the practice of sitting down with my thoughts taught me to reconnect with the world and regain control of my stress



One month of meditation

ishing,” Sophia said. “I feel like I have so much more agency now surrounding climate activism because I have seen the urgency of the situation.” Coming back from the trip, Sophia felt “renewed and transformed.” Surrounded by the lush and natural beauty of their environment, students were faced with an ominous thought during the trip: that the effects of global warming will very soon be completely irreversible. However, they also were provided with critical thinking towards a solution. The group was spurred by the Alaskan natural wonders they experienced and by their lessons to join the climate movement. Students learned to fight for change in the government and in corporations that control major decisions about climate policy, as well as to alter their local and individual choices. “It made me feel like I can always do more and that there’s always more to learn,” Sophia said.

Barber continued, “Meditation can be helpful in helping people slow down and filter out what is noise versus what are the thoughts that are of value.” Stephanie S. (10) felt that meditation has eased her stress, too. “Meditation has improved my ability to focus. This has been particularly helpful towards the end of the semester, when assignments build up and time management is extra important,” Stephanie said. After a month of daily practice, meditation helped improve my perspective and interpersonal relationships. At times I feel happier than I’ve felt in the past. As for continuing the practice on a regular schedule, though, I don’t think I will. While I most definitely have not mastered the sessions I listened to, I feel that I have more awareness than before, and if I find that I need to step back for a minute, I know where to turn to. I know I have that place where I can stop, pause, inhale, exhale, and simply begin again.




Graphic by Jordan M. and Julienne H. *Information from survey sent to the Class of 2019



are in the graduating class of 2019: 75 seniors and 1 junior


of the class has decided to stay in California


of seniors are pursuing the arts/humanities/ social sciences as their primary field of study


of seniors are pursuing an engineering degree


students are attending colleges where there aren’t any Nueva alums


are going to colleges with 5,000 to 10,000 students

Leaving Nueva after 14 years


Before graduation, two senior lifers reflect on their time at Nueva





inspiring—their support and mentorship has been instrumental in allowing me to work towards becoming the person I aspire to be,” Audrey added. “I’ve been able to spend this last semester spending time with my friends,” Toby said, “and I hope to stay in touch with people that I’ve known since I was five years old.” Audrey looks forward to being a part of a new community, with all the benefits that come with it—more possible friendships and learning experiences, in particular. “I am perhaps most excited to meet my new cohort, a truly diverse group with lived experiences and backgrounds very different from mine,” Audrey said. “I think it is time to move on for a new experience in the world, to have new experience in a world that I’ve only had one perspective on,” Toby said, but there are parts of Nueva he’s going to miss. “I am definitely going to miss the freedom and openness Nueva allows the students and the completely unique way we learn.” “Nueva has taught me how to approach homework and readings, talk in class, and be intellectually curious,”


time at Nueva. Audrey and Toby have spent their lives since kindergarten in the Nueva community, and they can’t imagine receiving an education from anywhere else. From the countless recesses trading pottery for “crystals” in the fluctuating elementary-school economy and creating songs for the fourth-grade play, to writing STARPAP essays, and embarking on the unforgettable trips to places around the world, these memories are markers of their time at Nueva as they prepare to move on to college. “Nueva is a place that fosters discussion and discourse, you have to learn how to be vocal and stand up for your points,” Audrey said. She used to identify as an introvert, but because of the help that Nueva offered her, she was able to gain confidence in herself. With new skills that both Audrey and Toby had learned and gained confidence on, they are heartbroken to not be attending school with their fellow classmates in the future. “Nueva teachers see potential in you that you may not even see in yourself and stand by you every step of the way. They are committed, compassionate, and


At 11:29 am every day, all of the third graders anxiously wait, seconds away from their favorite part of the day: recess. Recess is special for the lower schoolers; they get all sorts of options, from playing at the lawns, playgrounds, library, garden, or forts. This memorable part of our school sticks with them, even a decade later, as one of the best parts of Nueva. From sliding down mulch hill to wandering in the forts, senior lifers Audrey C. and Toby F. will cherish this memorable routine that was ingrained into their lower school lives, along with other experiences that have shaped their


Mira D. & Miki Y.


he added. These skills will help him in college and beyond, and he’s excited to bring them with him as he continues to grow. Audrey, too, has learned to be “more vulnerable,” to invest in her relationships, and to assume that people have good intentions. “It took me a little while to be okay with the fact that so much is ending, but now I'm simply trying to enjoy the last few months I have with people so special to me,” she said. For both Audrey and Toby, graduating from Nueva is bittersweet. Being a part of the Nueva community for so long, leaving is a huge step for them— both toward independence, which is a positive, and away from Nueva, which is more mixed. Both feel nostalgic during their last semester as they reflect back on the memories they have made, but they are looking forward to seeing what adventure comes next.


See us, hear us

Merix G. We, as black people, barely have any representation at this school, which makes our jobs of explaining our history very difficult. “13th” sheds light on the huge impact one fragment of history has on our lives. When you refuse to show up or choose to leave halfway through a day dedicated to looking at our history and setbacks in society, it hurts. The fact that you value a day off more than acknowledging the problems targeted towards African Americans is very troubling, and you should consider opening your eyes a bit. I know that it seemed like a long day—and personally, I would not


have structured the viewing exactly as it was—but that does not mean you should neglect important moments in black history. Even if you watched this documentary at home, viewing the work as a school is essential for us to acknowledge that we are not alone in this world. I was not forced to write this; I was not persuaded to either; this is just me explaining the anger and disappointment I feel towards you. Not everything in life is about writing the next essay or relaxing. Sometimes you need to open your eyes and reflect on the actions that have been done to other people, even if that means spending a day you could be using to watch Netflix on something more significant in others’ lives.



Thankful traveler In appreciation for the opportunities provided by annual school trips Alyssa H. The weeks following the school trips are a time for reflections on the experience. As a freshman, I participated in the annual trip to Peru. Peru wasn’t my first school trip and it won’t be my last. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is one of many, and that makes it all too easy to forget how unique these experiences are. The trips are more than just a break from tests and essays, and I feel our community has started to forget that. During a pre-trip meeting, one of my chaperones asked us if we were excited. The majority of the people said yes, but I was shocked to see there were some people who said they were not excited. I understand that there could be any number of reasons for this, but it compelled me reflect on the reasons for my own excitement and gratitude. These trips involve a large amount of socioeconomic privilege. Plane tickets and traveling are expensive and not something accessible to everyone. With a community of students accustomed to travel, these school trips can be taken for granted. It is important to remember that having these opportunities isn’t normal. Traveling with such a large group of classmates and friends in a learning environment is something few get to experience. However, I am most grateful for the opportunity to go to Machu Picchu. In the interest of preserving the site, Machu Picchu only hosts around a total of 1 million visitors per year, and requires tickets to be booked months in advance. Due to these limitations, going to Machu Picchu is a significant privilege in itself. I am also grateful for everything that has been done to maintain and

THE SCENIC ROUTE Alexander R. (10) crosses a bridge over the Sarapiqui River in Costa Rica. PHOTO BY TOMO G.

preserve the ruins of Machu Picchu and the nature surrounding it. Nature so untouched has become hard to find, and is only going to become scarcer. It is possible that within the next generations such vast landscapes of nature will disappear altogether. The peace and awe that accompanies such a landscape is unreplicable, and I am thankful to have experienced it. I don’t feel that anyone is deliberately ungrateful of the school trips. It’s just that the environment around them

has led to attitudes of an ungrateful nature. I too have been part of this. It’s so easy to get caught up in things like group assignments and the organization of the itinerary, and forget to think about how lucky we are. As we embark on trips worldwide year after year, I hope everyone will take a moment to appreciate them. I hope we will put aside our worries about group assignments and instead remember how fortunate we are to have these experiences.

The abortion controversy is a human value issue Willow C. Y. Alright, here’s the deal. I’m not going to bore you with the background about how choice is being attacked nationwide; how Alabama has the strictest abortion laws of any state; how Georgia, Indiana, and nine others have anti-abortion laws going into effect in 2019; how others across the country are thinking of following suit; how all of these bills are mostly fodder to overturn Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court. Instead, let’s jump straight into the real issue at stake here: the issue of rights. Specifically, what they represent. Because although rights themselves are exceedingly important in all terms and situations, the topic is inextricably tied to the arguably more conflicted question of value, and the comparison of one person’s value to the next.

“I turn 18 in just two short years. I don’t want the world I’ll be living in to value me any less.”

The problem with taking away the right to get an abortion is in and of itself a violation of freedom and a gross offense, but the bigger issue is that the loss of those rights devalues everyone with a uterus now unable to access safe, legal abortion—and devalues all women, regardless of political standing. The bills (and laws) legally judge the value of anyone who has or is expected to have a uterus to be less-than. These bills may very realistically become laws—or potential overturnings of Roe v. Wade and other landmark rulings—and will fundamentally change not only how women may act, but also, inevitably, how women are perceived in society. As a teen, turning 18 in just two short years, I don’t want the world I’ll be living in to value me any less. ILLUSTRATION BY EUGENIA X.



The legging (is not a) problem

A mother writes to shield her sons’ eyes from the ghastly sight of leggings, and I have some thoughts


Why teacher retention matters

High teacher turnover in the Bay Area makes building community difficult

Grace H.

Illustration by Eugenia X.

Eugenia X. I’ve never really liked wearing leggings. I only reluctantly put them on in Middle School because I had couldn’t figure out my style and saw that everyone else looked good wearing them. Nothing has ever made me want to bust out every pair of leggings lying forgotten in a corner of my dresser more than “The legging problem” by Maryanne White. White, who identified herself as a Catholic mother of four sons, strongly believes that leggings are too provocative. She felt compelled to write a letter to The Observer, a joint student newspaper between Notre Dame College and Saint Mary’s College, in order to save her four sons, her fellow Catholic mothers, and the male gaze from the unfortunate image of those “blackly naked rear ends.” To her, leggings are an unsavory garment that sometimes look like they “had been painted on.” I’d like to commend White’s effort; the language she uses to describe this garment is amazingly colorful and made for a rather enjoyable read. However, I could not disagree more. White’s argument is largely based on the concept of respect, and she seems to believe that choosing to wear a black, stretchy strip of cloth instead of jeans determines how much respect someone shows to themselves and those around them. White even compares leggings to Princess Leia’s slave girl outfit—garments that, unlike leggings, which most people opt into wearing, were forced onto her. White was also concerned that leggings were disrespectful to the men who could not possibly look away from the bodies of women who chose to wear them. To test this assumption, I

hollered at a room of a few presumably straight men, “Do any of you have an issue with leggings?” I was met with three baffled “no”s and one even more flabbergasted “what are leggings?” from Bayan S. (10). I was determined to get a more definitive answer, as a room where my friends were playing Super Smash Bros was not the best sample size. I ventured out to the rest of the campus. More “no”s. Most people I stopped seemed confused that this was even a question. The only time person who sometimes had an issue with leggings was someone in the I-Lab, who expressed concern that the leggings material does not mix well with welding and pose a safety concern. Still, not a single person had an issue with the visual appearance of leggings. People should be allowed to dress the way they want to dress unless the way they present themselves is quite literally offensive, like if something racist is written on a shirt or if someone blatantly appropriates a culture. This roughly conducted survey seems to suggest that leggings really are not as offensive as White made them out to be. At the end of the day, leggings are generally considered a “female” garment, and targeting leggings as an inappropriate garment is code for restricting choice, particularly female choice. White’s claim that leggings were too provocative to be work in public is ultimately rooted in misogyny. It is not a woman’s job to prevent creepy men from staring at their bodies, nor should it be anyone’s responsibility to change something harmless about their appearance for other other people’s comfort.

The end of the school year always carries a certain sort of melancholy. Major projects are wrapped up, course request surveys are submitted (and, more often than not, edited and resubmitted), and everyone prepares to spend two full months away from the school ecosystem they’ve lived in since September. We start finding out which teachers are leaving about a month before the end, a combination of announcements, deduction, gossip, and slip-ups in conversations painting a picture of who will be missing from the halls when we enter them again in the fall. Once the ‘who’ has been determined, it isn’t long before speculation starts circulating about how exactly their absence will impact the school. In many cases, the list is similar: we’ll lose electives they taught. We’ll lose the opportunity to work on multi-year projects with the same teacher, we’ll lose their involvement in the community, we’ll lose conversations yet to be had. On a larger scale, the high turnover rate—the school lost 20 teachers last year—means that we lose the ability to build long term connections with our teachers, the ability to know the Teacher turnover currently people with whom we share this accounts for 88% of the spectacular place. They leave, and demand for new teachers the rest of us start over. in the Bay Area, according The magic of Nueva is that to a 2018 report researched it is such a strong community. I by the Getting Down to the Facts II project. love it here, in large part, if not entirely, because of my teachers and peers. Since I first enrolled at Nueva, I’ve been encouraged to get to know my teachers—and it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received—but it’s a bit tricky when so many of them inevitably pack up their pods in the spring and don’t return. By the end of each year, the atmosphere in halls and classes alike is jovial and relaxed—it’s always painful when it returns to stilted introductions and vague confusion. After a year with the same people, we all begin to figure out where we fit in relation to them. When so many disappear, the system feels apt to fall apart. Sure, the turnover means we frequently get to have fantastic conversations with new teachers and try new The Learning Policy Institute, electives and gain new mentors. Addian education research tionally, this isn’t just a Nueva proborganization, showed 80% lem, and it certainly isn’t something of California school that the school can be expected to districts surveyed in control in its entirety, or even for the 2017 reported having a shortage of qualified most part. The Bay Area as a whole teachers. (The survey of has a high teacher turnover rate, and districts represents a quarter many of our teachers leave to work of the state’s enrollment.) elsewhere, support their families, or continue their own educations. That being said, it’s hard not to wonder if Nueva could be doing more to create a comfortable balance between the new and familiar in order to make our wonderful community feel a bit more stable.





Competitive Emotion “A #MeToo Nightmare in the World of Competitive Speech” covered a largely ignored problem in the world of speech and debate: the pressure to integrate personal experience, no matter how sensitive or dangerous, into the activity to succeed

Eugenia X. Sexual assault is a prevalent issue in every level of speech and debate. The authority and social capital adults and students have within teams, cliques, and the broader debate community keep the problem alive. I wasn’t expecting to read about anything particularly new in Caroline Kitchener’s piece in The Atlantic, “A #MeToo Nightmare in the World of Competitive Speech.” In some ways, it was exactly the horrifying story that I expected. A speech coach with a “legendary” reputation who had massive authority over his students—dictating everything from their behavior at tournaments to their personal social media presences down to the amount of blush they were wearing—was found guilty of sexually harassing a student as well as multiple former students. However, Kitchener’s article covered another huge issue that I had barely seen illuminated in the mainstream: people are forced to be excessively vulnerable in speech and debate, and there is a severe amount of pressure to reveal extremely personal experiences to win a ballot or get a good ranking.


I remember my experience at the parliamentary debate Tournament of Champions this year, where a judge explicitly told my partner and me that we would have won her ballot if we had “contextualized our arguments with real-world examples.” She said we should have done something similar to an argument our opponents read by telling a hypothetical story about someone who could be affected by the resolution. What she didn’t know was that I had firsthand experience with the topic, and I had no desire to share it with someone whom I had just met. My partner and I made the conscious choice to avoid bringing my personal experience up in the round, knowing that it was an extremely sensitive topic for me. To me, her feedback sounded like “sacrificing my privacy would have definitely won us that ballot.” I cried for hours after that comment. I had trouble writing this article because it still got to me more than a month later. I remember my friend’s frustration as they vented to me about their teammate’s experience. The teammate, a 17-year-old girl, gave a speech

Questions, comments, or submissions? We welcome your voices. We accept photographs, articles, illustrations, and other pieces of work. Please email us at thenuevacurrent@nuevaschool.org.

about domestic violence. Her judges marked her down; according to them, she needed to tell her own story instead of using the statistics she presented. They expected a 17-year-old high school girl to sacrifice her privacy, comfort, and likely her safety in order

“There is a severe amount of pressure to reveal extremely personal experiences to win a ballot or get a good ranking.” to score well on a speech. The coach Kitchener featured would force his students to tell him personal stories and use those as their speech-

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

es. The students would select topics at the beginning of the season by thinking about the ones that could make them “cry in 10 minutes.” They had no choice; they were hyper-aware that their position on the team was disposable, and their coach would consistently remind them that one misstep could cost them their entire scholarship and thus their college education. Even bonding activities like campfires that were held twice a year became a contest of “competitive emotion.” An alum of the team said that this was a tactic to get the students vulnerable to the coach’s abuse. Though I can confidently say that I have never felt this amount of pressure from my coaches and the other girl’s and my experiences fortunately did not seem to go as far, the type of pressures at play were the same. Speech and debate are intense activities; most of the people who gain competitive success in these activities are heavily invested in them, and those competitors will often do whatever it takes for them to win rounds. These events also rely on narratives of suffering. “If it bleeds, it leads” is a saying I’ve heard through journal-

Editor-in-Chief Willow C. Y. Design Editor Jordan M. Copy Editor Isabel C. Web Editor Elizabeth B. P. Faculty Advisor LiAnn Yim

Staff Gabi B., Eli C., Mira D., Elijah D., Grace H., Alyssa H., Zulie M., Luke M., Gitika P., Beatrice S., Amanda W., Mirielle W., Miki Y., Eugenia X.

ism. This saying means that dramatic, violent events make headlines on the front page. Speech and debate often have a similar logic; the more dramatic, the more touching, and the more personal competitors are willing to be in their speeches, the more likely they are to win. It is incredibly difficult for many competitors— including me—to balance success in an activity they care so much about with their comfort and privacy, and, unfortunately, the latter is often tossed aside. This inability to reconcile feeling safe from prying eyes and winning fancy titles that come with shiny trophies has pushed me to the verge of quitting, running away, and never looking back multiple times. “Debate is a game, and there is a winner and a loser,” I said to quickly warrant why my interpretation of debate should win me the round. I’ve recited this exact phrase countless times, but at the end of the day, it feels untrue to me. Debate is more than a game. Once in a while, personal experiences become relevant in debate rounds, and those can be some of the scariest times.

The Nueva Current is published six times a school year. 750 print copies are distributed for free to students and faculty members in all three of Nueva’s divisions. The Nueva Current is a member of the NSPA and CSPA.



SPORTS / 17 Boys Basketball Varsity: 1st in PSAL, 22-6 (14-0) JV: 7-4 (5-2)

Pregame ritual: “[We would get] a Habit dinner before games.” —Jack B. (11), V One word to describe the team: “The-best-nueva-sportsteam-in-history-(so-far)” —Josh F. (11), V

Girls Basketball

Team Hype Song:

Varsity: 3rd in PSAL, 8-14 (8-6)

“Bella Ciao”

Pregame ritual: “Always getting to the team room early. According to our coach, ‘if you're early you're on time, if you’re on time you're late.’”

Tennis Pregame ritual: “I’d say one of the most important pregame rituals that we had was just warming up on the court and yelling amongst each other. Other than that, just a few words of wisdom from the coach but really just keeping it simple.”

—Emma M. (9) Favorite memory: “Senior night was the most memorable. I will never forget how Coach Mike was talking about Anjali in the conference room.” —Anya P. (9)


Year in

Review Amanda W. & Luke M.

Every year, as the athletics program continues to expand, the student-athletes are able to meet goals within the league, the team, and themselves. Several of the teams placed well in the PSAL and WBAL leagues, and some even made it to CCS Playoffs. This season has been successful for all players, regardless of team record or league placing, and they were able to improve. As the year wraps up, here are some of the fun memories and team rituals from the players.

—Sebastian D. (10) Favorite memory: “My favorite memory was when everybody finished their matches after a tough loss, but came to support our last playing teammate, who came back from behind to win his match”

Cross Country

Both the Varsity and JV Boys teams and Varsity and JV Girls teams won the PSAL Champion title.

—Alexander R. (10)

Pregame ritual: “Before each race during XC season, everyone on the team who was in the same race would warm up together, sharing advice about the course and making running jokes.” —Eleanor M. (10), V

Boys Soccer

Favorite memory:

Varsity: 4th in PSAL, 12-5-1 (10-5-1)

“My favorite memory was spraying silver spray paint in our mouths after cross country finals.”

Pregame ritual: “Right before the second half we would always huddle up and say ‘drip’ on 3 instead of ‘Nueva.’”

—Billy P. (11), V Obstacle: “The northern California fires were tragic and ultimately caused us to be unable to execute workouts for nearly two weeks right before CCS and State races. We overcame this obstacle by ensuring that we were completing the workouts on our own (treadmills, etc.)”

—Yahli E. (9) Favorite memory: “The first time we beat LCP we were all hyped.” —Cameron W. (12)

—Vienno G. (10), V Describe the team in one word: "Competitive" —Brian P. (10), V

Girls Volleyball Girls Soccer Swimming & Diving

6th at WBAL championships

Favorite memory:

Varsity: 1st in PSAL North 12-2-1 (11-0-1)

Favorite memory:

“My favorite memory was team banter during warmup sessions, where everyone is just shouting at each other.”

“When the whole team was there and it was hailing and we were soaked but had so much fun running and dancing around.”

—Afton L. (10)

—Mira D. (9) Obstacle:

Boys Volleyball Track & Field Pregame ritual:

Varsity: 2-2

Favorite memory:

“I love taking long chill recovery runs where you can talk to your teammates.”

“My favorite team memory was our second game. I just started training to be a setter and I hadn't been that good in practice, but somehow at the game it clicked and I was setting really well left and right. It was a great game.”

—Gaelen C. (10), V

—Clay A. (11)

“Before every race, my teammates and I take something called a power nap.” —Jonah R. (10), JV Favorite memory:

Team hype song:



“None of us had played volleyball before.”

—Madeline P. (11), V

—Ryan C. (10)

“Our seniors and captains, Sophia Yang, Sanam Yusuf, and Libby McClelland, all got injured at certain points throughout the season and the team had to figure out how to rally together and support each other, as well as modify our playing techniques and formations to account for these injuries.” —Eugenia T. (11) One word to describe the team:

Varsity: 1st in PSAL, 16-3 (13-1) JV: 2-5 (1-3)

Favorite memory: “One practice, there was no music in the gym, and out of nowhere, we all started singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' together.” —Nikki A. (9), JV Obstacle: “At first we struggled to communicate with each other on the court, but as we bonded throughout the year we improved our game a lot.” —Caroline S. (10), V One word to describe the team: “Best” —Willow C. Y. (10), V Team hype song: “All we listened to was Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Panic! at the Disco. The second was only supported by a single freshman.” —Paige M. (10), V





Stadiums compete to offer premium experiences How teams are luring fans from their couches and into the stands Luke M. Recently, multiple sports franchises in the U.S. have built and opened new, state-of-the-art stadiums. As the couch and TV become increasingly appealing options for fans, teams must adapt to keep the game-day experience thrilling. Like fashion, food, and architecture, stadiums tend to follow a trend. Increasing fan engagement is undoubtedly a major pattern that top stadiums have aimed for in the past few years. This list will highlight the five best stadiums built in the past five years and the changes that have made them successful.

1. Banc of California Stadium Located in downtown L.A., the Banc of California stadium (commonly referred to as “The Banc”) is where the glamour of Hollywood meets the grit of sports. The 22,000 seat stadium, home to Los Angeles Football Club, opened in 2018. A thin canopy surrounds the stadium and protects spectators from the Southern Californian sun while trapping the vibrant songs, chants, and cheers of the fans. An opening in the canopy also provides a window to the incredible skyline of downtown Los Angeles. The Banc is one of few stadiums in the U.S. to have a “safe-standing wall” which simply swaps usual stadium chairs out for railings to allow supporters to stand. In contrast, the stadium provides a number of upscale seating options from a rooftop terrace to on-field suites. There’s also a full 360-degree concourse with spacious plazas and concessions stands full of fresh, handmade meals and snacks from L.A.’s thriving culinary scene. Photo courtesy of Banc of California Stadium

$1.6 billion

2. Audi Field Opened in 2018, Audi Field is the sleek, 20,000-seat home of DC United. Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, Audi Field is one of the latest in a recent spate of soccer-specific stadiums opened in the U.S. The 35-degree slope in the seating is one of the steepest of any U.S. Stadium and puts fans right over the action. Audi Field provides a luxurious touch as 10% of the seats are marketed as high-end seating. One fan-friendly feature is the free bike valet offered to cyclists on game days. The stadium is located near many D.C. landmarks such as the United States Capitol building and the national mall. Concession stands are also stocked with various foods made by local chefs and restaurants. Particularly thirsty spectators can take a trek up to the Heineken rooftop bar for a drink and an eagle’s eye view of the match.

spent on building Mercedes Benz Stadium


seats at Mercedes Benz Stadium

Photo by John McDonnell

3. U.S. Bank Stadium


concourse at Banc of California Stadium


Photo courtesy of JLG Architects

Home of the Minnesota Vikings and host to Super Bowl LII, U.S. Bank Stadium is a massive, 66,000-plus-seat stadium in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank Stadium, which only opened three years ago, also hosted this year’s Final Four. The roof, which is 60% clear, prevents harsh Minnesota weather from affecting the players, fans, and the overall game experience. The stadium also provides the closest view of the action possible for any NFL fan — 25 feet away from the field — through their on-field “turf suites.” In an obvious homage to the team’s namesake, there is a 160-foot-long viking ship with a 55-foot-high videoboard right outside the stadium. U.S. Bank Stadium also gives a 21st-century interactive gameday experience to their fans — the huge 10,000 square foot space contains a plethora of interactive fan activities such as virtual reality and football drills. There are 20 nearby restaurants providing gameday snacks, and hundreds of art pieces are on display throughout the stadium. Like the other new stadiums on this list, U.S. Bank Stadium aims to make the experience more than just about the game.

4. Mercedes Benz Stadium

luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium

Coming in fourth on the list is the Mercedes Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. Since its opening in 2017, Mercedes Benz Stadium has already hosted a College Football Playoff Championship, an MLS Cup, and a Super Bowl. The stadium can hold games from multiple sports and is the first in the U.S. built for both football and soccer. The main feature is a retractable curtain that blocks off the upper deck for soccer games that don’t require the full 71,000-seat capacity. When drawn, the curtain decreases the size of the stadium and makes games feel more intimate by keeping the sound in. The retractable roof also traps the sound and keeps the hot Atlanta sun from disturbing the fans. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof stands out because of the innovative pinwheel design that operates the opening and closing of the roof. The roof also highlights the gigantic 360-degree video board that is 3,200 feet long.


taps in the brew hall at Allianz Field Photo by Michael Chang

5. Allianz Field


Also hailing from the state of Minnesota, Allianz Field rounds out the list at number five. Minnesota United plays at this 19,400-seat stadium that opened in 2019. Allianz Field includes a safe-standing section for the 3,000 fans. The section includes an incredible, full-size painting of the loon, Minnesota United’s mascot. Fans are incredibly close to the pitch, with the closest seats being only 17 feet away. Allianz Field also comes equipped with an unbelievable stadium shell made of PTTE mesh, which allows colorful lights to illuminate the stadium. The shell also covers most of the stands to protect the fans from the elements and traps the sounds if the game. A major challenge of having a field in Minnesota is the effect the weather has on the playing surface. Most stadiums that far north have turf fields, but Allianz Field is made of Kentucky bluegrass. An under-the-field heating system keeps the grass alive through the wet winter months of Minneapolis.

seat incline at Audi Field


feet away from the field at Allianz Field

Photo courtesy of Star Tribune



A Bay Area that won’t break your bank Cheap ways to spend a summer day



Avengers: Endgame in 100 words Willow C. Y.

Isabel C.


If traveling out of state isn’t in your summer itinerary this year, then spend your break exploring the Bay Area instead. While it might seem boring at first, Silicon Valley has a lot hidden gems to find and experience besides the typical tourist hotspots of San Francisco and San Jose. Buckle up and enjoy the ride because you might just find a new favorite haven to hang in this summer.

The used-book cat-lover’s haven With two locations in San Jose, Recycle Bookstore is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Established by a bookloving couple in 1967, the used bookstores carry a combined total of 100,000, titles ranging from newer genres to medical books and subject literature. Complementing the creaky floorboards and towering wooden shelves of words are four furry personality-rich bookstore cats who make themselves at home throughout the nooks and crannies of each store. Book prices can range but are usually around $5 to $10 dollars.

Experiencing Avengers: Endgame in theaters was like falling down a three-hour-long Stan Twitter thread. Like such a string, it includes obscure trivia, Easter eggs, fodder for conspiracies, and, intermittently, vocal fans’ joyful applauding or, more commonly, desolate wailing over a killed favorite. However, there’s one glaring difference between a thread and Endgame: the latter is official. If a theorist throws speculations into the internet’s abyss, I’ll leave with tears, yes, but also lightness, knowing those ideas carry no weight in canon. After the official movie, I’ll still be able to leave— but I’ll walk heavily, for finality is an unwieldy weight.

Elizabeth B. P. Endgame is the close of a chapter. It’s one of the very, very few movies that does time travel well while avoiding the over-scientific style of superhero films. It stars some of the best actors in superhero films. More than anything, Endgame is important. What’s important isn’t how good it is, but rather its suitability for the franchise. The ending was sad (although I never liked that particular character), but it was a perfect way to tie together so many films. Endgame may not have been what fans wanted it to be, but it was what it should have been.

The overlooked beauty of San Francisco’s fine arts museums Situated in the northwest corner of San Francisco, and overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge with stunning views, the Legion of Honor is the perfect fine arts museum to visit on a free day. The museum is based on the French Pavilion at the 1915 World’s Fair, has gorgeous architecture reminiscent of Roman architecture, and boasts an art collection spanning over 4,000 years of history, including famous European artworks from Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” to Auguste Rodin’s “Thinker.” Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $6 students with ID, and also allow admission to the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park.

There has never been a collection of movies that has been able to capture the hearts of as many people as Endgame has. Marvel movies have been wrapped into our pop culture for almost as long as our generation can remember. Endgame was simply the conclusion to an extraordinary saga, but in some ways, it feels like more than that. By incorporating scenes from the first movies, Endgame transported viewers back in time, bringing a flurry of memories and reminding everyone of the beginning, only to set up the end. Endgame was the perfect end because we remembered the beginning.

The entire history of pinball in one interactive place At the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, visitors can pay one price and play all day. The small museum was founded in 2004 and houses over 90 different pinball machines free to play from the 1940s onward. Started with a just a few dozen games, the museum's collection has grown to over 1,700 machines thanks to donations. With a range of games to play and jukeboxes and other amenities available, there’s no reason why anyone would want to leave. Tickets are $20, but $15 for students with ID.

Sushu Xia

Award-winning cheese and goats for a sunny day Nestled along the coast off Highway 1 in Pescadero lies the Harley Farms Goat Dairy. Enjoy the farm life of the gardens and visit the many goats that call the farm their home and provide the milk for the farm’s luscious and fresh cheeses. Activities are plentiful during any season, with kids (baby goats) in the spring and milking season in the summer. Tours are $35 but visitors are also free to walk around the farm to pet the goats, see the cheese-making process, and explore the farm on their own. Visitors can sample and buy cheese in their shop, including their award-winning Monet cheese with edible flowers, which won a gold medal at the World Cheese Show.



Make a trek up the stairs for a great view from Telegraph Hill The Filbert Street stairs in San Francisco's North Beach district offer spectacular views of the city at the top, and glorious shots of the Bay Bridge on your way up. Hidden within the greenery, these stairs, which range from wood, to metal to concrete, wind up the hill to the iconic skyline landmark of the city. On the way down, make sure to take the Greenwich Street steps, which snake down the other side of the hill with dusty-red brick steps. Visit around noon and grab lunch at one of the countless Italian restaurants nearby. It’s free to walk up the stairs, but there’s a small fee to ride the Coit Tower elevator to the top.

Luke M.



Your neighborhood thrift store, just 20 times bigger Take your thrift shopping to the next level at Urban Ore. Located in south Berkeley, Urban Ore is filled to the brim with knicks and knacks ranging from used doors and other building materials to thousands of abandoned photographs and clothing. Listed on their website as a place “to end the age of waste,” all of their products are made to be used and recycled. With over 100,000 square feet of space to spend an afternoon sifting through, you’re bound to find something special to bring back home.

Endgame hurt. These characters have been with many of us the entirety of our movie-watching lives and, for the first time in the franchise, we’re losing them. Time-travel-assisted trips down memory lane brought back the thrills of the Battle of New York, the anticipation of Tony Stark building his first suit, and the heartache accompanying Steve Rogers’ plane crashing—and they certainly serve their purpose. The movie felt like the culmination of something incredible—but perhaps not unmatchable. The combination of throwbacks and scenes starring the next generation of heroes made Endgame feel like a brilliant beginning as much as a finale.



Grace H.

Go berry picking While not a specific location, going berry picking is an easy, enjoyable, and rewarding activity for any summer day. There are a handful of places to choose from, ranging from more inland around San Jose to along the Pacific coast where there can be great views but it can get chillier. Many locations offer a one-price entrance fee and a you-pick service, where berries that are found can be picked by the visitor. Not all locations are just strawberries. Many farms offer options to pick blueberries and blackberries, while others have the option for lesser-known fruits like olallieberries and boysenberries. Prices range, but are usually low for entrance fees.


Next week’s Bay Area weather forecast



Summer stresses Alice G.

Eugenia X.

Ken-Ken Willow C. Y. INSTRUCTIONS: Your goal is to fill in the whole grid with numbers, making sure no number is repeated in any row or column. The number and operation in the upper left corner indicates the sum/difference/ product of the squares in that section. In this 5x5 puzzle, you can use the numbers 1-5 to fill in the squares.

Objects spotted on teacher desks Photos by Jordan M., Alyssa H., Elijah D.

Spotted on Carlo Cerruti’s desk: a gingerbread man.

Spotted on Samantha Huff’s desk: a photo of pigs.

Spotted on Lee Holtzman and Jehnna Ronan’s desk: a trophy for the winner of the ISOS Bad Science (BS) Festival. Spotted in Paul Gallagher’s office: a collection of hot sauces.

Spotted on Patrick Berger’s desk: a drawn portrait of Patrick Berger. (Who is the artist?)

Spotted on Christopher Scott’s desk: a Pop Funko figure of Godzilla.

Spotted on Claire Yeo's desk: a paper clip magnet holder.

Spotted on Alexa Hart’s desk: signed photos of Allen Frost.

ACROSS 1. What we all scream for (with 2-Down) 3. One type of arts degree; abbr. 4. What you’ll (hopefully) get for each class at the end of the year; abbr. 5. Fro’s partner

Crossword Willow C. Y.

7. Oft confused with e.g. 8. Lighter deluge 10. Our Golden State, informally 12. A private, Catholic, college prep. school in SF 13. Like “LOL” or “ROFL” 15. Famous alien 16. Alternative name for Socialist Russia, with “Union” 18. Horror featuring a clown with a red balloon 19. CA home improvement and gardening retailer that closed Nov. 2018

DOWN 1. Frozen water spike 2. See 1-Across 3. Feather ___ 5. Typical lead protagonist groups in YA and fiction 6. One who got a stitch, or Golden ball with wings 9. Informal contraction of “I is” 11. Final 17. Monument Valley 2 mother

Profile for The Nueva Current

The Nueva Current | June 2019  

Volume 2, Issue 6. Inside this issue: profile on one of San Mateo's longest-lasting—and last—local bookstores, why teacher retention is so i...

The Nueva Current | June 2019  

Volume 2, Issue 6. Inside this issue: profile on one of San Mateo's longest-lasting—and last—local bookstores, why teacher retention is so i...