Tips for freshman year Sophomores, juniors, and seniors provide insight into making freshman year as easy and fun as possible. PAGE 16
THE NUEVA SCHOOL SAN MATEO, CA 94403 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
SEARCHING FOR OUR NEXT HEAD OF SCHOOL
"You as students, your parents, the board and unquestionably your teachers; you all know why you are here and why this place is so important to your learning." —SEARCH FIRM RG175
Search for new Head of School casts net far and wide, digs deep into what Nueva culture means BY WILLOW C. Y.
n May 28, Head of School Diane Rosenberg shared news that she would be retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, after leading Nueva for over a third of its history. Her announcement set in motion an exhaustive search process for the school's next leader. The effort is being conducted by the Board’s 10-person search committee, co-chaired by Susan Barnes and Kathleen Donohue and including Aron Walker, the Assistant Director of Environmental Citizenship, and Liza Raynal, the Middle School Division Head. The committee has engaged the services of search firm RG175, which specializes in placing heads of schools. Their combined efforts have attracted 38 potential candidates—most of whom have national or international experience serving as a head of school—for the position, which would start in July 2020. The two RG175 consultants, Coreen Hester and Mark Ulfers, recently completed what they call their “discovery visit” in late September—a five-day, meetings-packed tour of both campuses where they met with “all constituency groups,” including faculty, administrators, and students. Both Hester and Ulfers are longtime consultants and former heads themselves. “Our goal was to listen carefully for key messages about the DNA of Nueva and clarify with each group the leadership skills and attributes for your school’s future Head of School,” the two said.
Departing Head of School Diane Rosenberg reflects on her tenure and looks to the future
CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 LEFT: Departing Head of School Diane Rosenberg is honored at the ribbon-cutting for the new West Wing. PHOTO BY JOHN MEYER
PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
Students participate in global climate strike in San Jose
Playing the world’s master Go instructor
Students competed against guest speaker Kweon Kap-yong, who trained Korea’s top Go player for his match against AlphaGo, in the world’s oldest game. PAGE 2
Upper School students walked out of class on Friday, Sept. 20, to join the Silicon Valley climate strike, one of many protests that took place that day as part of #FridaysforFuture.
PHOTO BY LIANN YIM
PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
The newly formed varsity girls tennis team has found early success in competitive play—and they’re having a lot of fun, too. PAGE 18
The recently renovated food court at the Hillsdale mall boasts several options for foodies in a beautifully redesigned space. PAGE 7
Mavericks serve up early wins in For the foodies: Hillsdale food court varsity girls tennis
page 2 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
NEWS SAY CHEESE This year, students will be able to choose their school photo, which is used in the internal directory and the yearbook. Instructions for doing so are available through the link in Nueva Notes. The deadline for choosing the school photo is Oct. 18.
BRIEFING BY SERENA S. & TINA Z.
student visitors coming October–January. Admissions Assistant Jamika McNally has to replenish the bowl of candy on her desk every other day.
US History teacher Arta Khakpour, on being asked to help identify students in a photo.
barcoded textbooks checked out of the WRC from the start of the school year to Sept. 24.
students are taking Japanese this year across all five levels—an alltime high.
“OH MY GOSH, I LOVE IDENTIFYING PEOPLE. IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM FOR FACIAL RECOGNITION."
THE NUEVA CURRENT
approximate total pages that the English 10 students will read over the course of the fall semester.
approximate number of total person-miles hiked on the 11th grade retreat to Big Basin.
The number of cupcakes David S. '20 devoured for his 20-second talent at the All Hands Meeting on Sept. 24. PHOTO BY UNSPLASH
“NEVER EVER HESITATE TO ASK. DON'T EXPECT SOMEONE TO TAP YOU ON THE SHOULDER." Jackie Speier, in her address to the Upper School student body on Monday, Aug. 26. Speier kicked her talk off by crediting Andrew C. '22 with bringing her to campus as a guest speaker. "Andrew is a great example of what happens when you ask." Andrew emailed Speier's office to ask if a visit could be arranged after her deputy director came to speak to Nueva about climate change.
PLANNED DECEMBER CLOSING FOR HILLSDALE STATION BY ISABEL C.
Caltrain is planning on closing the Hillsdale train station for up to six months starting in December of this year, according to a virtual town hall hosted on July 31. If construction goes to plan, the station will reopen in June 2020. During the closure, Hillsdale trains will be directed to the Belmont station, approximately 1.7 miles south of the Hillsdale station. A free bus service will be available for Caltrain riders through SamTrans and will run every 15 minutes along El Camino Real. Shuttle service between Caltrain stations is being arranged. Up to 80% of students use Caltrain regularly at least once a day as their transport to or from school, according to a schoolwide survey last year. The school is currently awaiting more information on SamTrans bus schedules and Caltrain shuttles before changing transportation options. Upper School Division Head Stephen Dunn said Caltrain has agreed to host a town hall for Nueva in either October or November. A survey to acquire updated data on train usage from students
and faculty is scheduled to be sent out in the coming days. Proposed mainly for safety regulations, the 25th Ave. Grade Separation Project will move the Hillsdale station north to East 28th Avenue, raise the tracks and lower the road at 25th Avenue, and complete street connections at 31st Avenue. The new station, which will be located 1,000 feet north of its current location, will boast station improvements such as safer platforms in the center of the train line, new infrastructure of benches, lights, and shelters, and a mosaic wall by the entrance. The entire project is estimated to cost around $180 million, with completion in early 2021.
NEW AND IMPROVED | Rendering of what the new Hillsdale station will look like. The station will be moved to the 28th Avenue intersection, roughly 1,000 feet north of its current location. PHOTO COURTESY OF CALTRAIN
A GAME AT “GOD’S LEVEL" Distinguished Go master Kweon Kapyong brings lessons from Go to the Upper School BY EUGENIA X.
Introduced by eighth-grade Nueva parent Brian Koo, South Korean Go professional Kweon Kap-yong visited the Upper School on Sept. 20 to speak to the student body about the human quality of Go. Kweon presented in an assembly in the morning with Koo as his translator, then brought Go boards to the WRC at lunch so that he and his pupils could teach and play against upper school students. Kweon taught South Korea’s top Go player, Lee Sedol, who represented humans against Google’s AlphaGo program in 2016 in an astounding five games that, according to Kweon, shook the entire Go community’s perception of artificial intelligence. Go, believed to be one of the world’s oldest board games, is a two-person game in which black and white stones are cast on a board. The objective of the game is to surround as many of the opponent’s tokens as possible. Go is incredibly popular in China, Japan, and South Korea, where, according to Kweon and Koo, it is used to teach lessons of philosophy, discipline, and intellect. Koo, who was Kweon’s student for four years starting in second grade, said he
invited Kweon to Nueva because he wanted to share the game of Go and Kweon’s personal experience with AI. Before Lee’s match against AlphaGo, the entire Go community believed that humans would win against the machine, as they believed that Go masters played almost at “God’s level,” Kweon said. Go professionals would run through every possible winning or losing scenario before tournaments since they knew their opponents so well, and they could envision 200-300 steps ahead within seconds. Kweon admitted that before Lee’s matches against AlphaGo, he made the
"As we see more of AI, we get to think about what is human in this world." —Brian Koo
A GAME AGAINST THE MASTER | Students watch intensely as their classmates take on Master Kweon in Go. During lunch that day, spectators huddled around Go boards in the WRC, watching Kweon make his strategic moves and cheering for both Kweon and their friends. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
mistake of claiming that his student would win 5-0, even though his former students who had gone to work in the technology industry told him the opposite and that Lee’s inevitable loss would make the Go industry “collapse.” Though ultimately Lee lost four out of five games to AlphaGo, Google was impressed that he had won a game at all. Kweon recalled tearing up watching his student beat AlphaGo; he said Lee played in a way that nobody could understand, and that it really was “God’s Go.” The Go community, which according to Kweon first believed AlphaGo to be a “terminator situation,” came around to accept the new technology and is even innovating and learning from its strategies. After the match, Kweon said that he had gotten one interview question
consistently: if he had a chance to play against God, what would his strategy be? Kweon said then that he would want to be two stones ahead of God in order to beat them. “The God of Go did come now,” he said. “Right now, the actual gap between the world champion and AlphaGo is two stones.” “As we see [more] AI, we get to think about what is human in this world,” Koo said. “It’s more about insight, it’s really about strategy—not just the winning strategy, but life strategy. That could be a very interesting tool to bring here...because of AlphaGo, winning doesn’t matter anymore because we know we can’t beat a machine. It’s more about finding other meaningful things.”
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CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEIER OPENS SCHOOL YEAR WITH MESSAGE ABOUT RESILIENCE Rep. Speier delivered a powerful speech to the student body during the first all-school meeting BY GRACE H.
etting the undivided attention of any student body on the first day of school isn’t simple—dragging people from the friends they haven’t seen in months and the course switches they’re desperately trying to engineer takes a certain sort of miracle. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who came to speak on Aug. 26, was able to perform it with ease, delivering a speech about resilience, tenacity, and the importance of reaching for opportunities and, sometimes, falling short. As the representative for California’s 14th Congressional District, which contains most of San Mateo county and some of San Francisco, she serves a large portion of the Nueva community. Throughout her address, Rep. Speier blended anecdotes from her own experience—as a student, political candidate, mother, and self-described “three-time loser”—with advice for everyone gathered in the gym. “Life is going to give you lots of bumps in the road, that’s just the nature of life,” Rep. Speier said. “What you need to encourage yourself with is the strength to know that you have what it takes. It's called resilience.
ABOVE | Rep. Jackie Speier represents California's 14th Congressional District, which includes many Nueva families. BELOW | Student Council member Andrew C. '22 reached out to Rep. Speier's team to invite her to campus. Chu introduced the congresswoman at the first all-hands meeting.
And we all have a volume of resilience within us. That allows us to really accomplish anything and survive anything.” She also spoke to the importance of pushing past self-doubt and taking the opportunities you’re presented with, saying that she “never thought [she] had what it took” but decided to “just do it.” “We all have self-doubt,” Rep. Speier said. “We all struggle with that. But those who are successful are those that power through. And that's what I would suggest you do.” This message about taking risks was, for Andrew C. ’22, one of the most impactful pieces of her speech. “I think one of her biggest lessons was just doing it, just putting yourself out there, trying something that’s not very comfortable for you and falling up or asking questions even though they might not lead anywhere,” said Andrew, who helped to organize the event after meeting Rep. Speier’s deputy director during an intersession last January. “I found it really amazing how she was able to persevere through life,” Andrew said. “Her tenacity throughout all of her work and life in public service is a great thing to hear about.” PHOTOS BY WILLOW C. Y.
NUEVA STUDENTS WALK OUT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
he 50-odd Nuevans have been swallowed by the crowds—and so has the street. Demonstrators young and old spill off the sidewalk, brandishing flags and protest signs— “When I said I wanted to die, I didn’t mean like this,” proclaims one in bold black marker—and shouting call and response chants. “The oceans are rising and so are we” soars above the crowd as it surges past Third Street, the air thrumming with shared purpose and the shining bit of hope that comes with solidarity. The Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike is part of a larger demonstration that took place from Sept. 20 to 27. This global “week of action”—inspired by the movement led by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and organized by the Youth Climate Strike Coalition— was planned to coincide with the UN Climate Action Summit. The ultimate goal of the movement is to “demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis,” according to its website. The week of action intends to advance that goal through a combination of intersectional, intergenerational teachins, walkouts, strikes, and other nonviolent demonstrations. “A walkout sends the message that…[climate change is] a matter of importance and magnitude,” said Daniel A. ’21, one of the student organizers of the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike. “Walking out from school and other subsequent activities is saying ‘we know our education is important, we understand the stake it has in out future, but honestly, this impacts our future more than half a day of school.’” In the words of Sian B. ’21, another of the strike’s organizers, walkouts “create disruption of the system,” making them crucial in the push for public
PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
Students join global strike to urge politicians towards stricter climate policy BY GRACE H.
acknowledgement of the climate crisis. “A lot of people have been saying that lobbying is a more effective strategy, but the strike has a dual goal: both to effect policy change and to create awareness,” Daniel said. “Lobbying is a highly effective tool but it requires a lot of people and it’s hard to recruit those people to lobby because lobbying is inherently you call, you meet, you call, you meet, and eventually you get something; it’s not the most romantic, and so, while it certainly has a lot of success it doesn’t work on its own because it lacks the potential for outreach that a strike has.” Creating public and political awareness is one of the main goals of the strike, along with pushing for more concrete change through local policies. The main policy goals of the Silicon Valley march, which began at the San Jose-Diridon Caltrain station and ended on the steps of San Jose City Hall, are twofold: firstly, to convince San Jose to adopt new, climate-friendly policies regarding public transit funding, infrastructure legislation, and building electrification; and secondly, to push San Jose to endorse the imposition of a state-wide carbon dividend meant to decrease fossil fuel emissions. Beyond the legislative goals, the organizers hope to see long-term change in people’s attitudes on the crisis and the impacts of climate action as a whole. “We want to provide optimism. We actually can solve climate change, there are things that we can do, and it’s not as hopeless as many people seem to think it is,” Sian said. “If we think of it as a problem with no solution, it lends itself to the idea that we shouldn’t worry about it because the earth is doomed anyways, we just fix the symptoms and cross our fingers
STUDENT ACTIVISM | Daniel A. '21 and Sian B. '21 organized Nueva's walkout on Sept. 20 to join other groups at San Jose Diridon Station. "We want to provide optimism," Sian said. "There are things that we can do, and it's not as hopeless as many people seem to think it is." PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
and see what comes,” Daniel added. “I think it’s important to encourage people to actually take action because there is a line between feeling the threat and feeling it so much that you just become lethargic and don’t do anything anyways and I think that, in some places and in some parts of the movement, that has happened.” The organizers believe that success in the climate change movement depends on people’s ability to push past the pull of inaction and to believe in their own ability to effect change. “The issue is big, and...frustrating, at times, to work on; the impact is very hard to see because it’s not about changing what’s broken, it’s about avoiding the worst of the consequences of something that has happened,” Daniel said. “I think it takes hubris to get involved in a movement like this because you have to believe that you can make a difference.”
A CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL SHOWDOWN
EVAN S. ’21
“At this point, I don’t think that Trump is going to get impeached, at least not in his first term...While I don’t think this will necessarily remove him from office before January 2021, I think it will reduce the chances he stays in office after that time.”
ALEXANDER R. ’21
Upper School students react to news of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump BY VALERIE B.
“I am not sure it’s gonna be a great political strategy in the upcoming election, because if it fails…it will be a win for Trump, and he will use it to his advantage in the next election.”
MAYA B. ’22
“I am really excited by the fact that Pelosi and the House Democrats have chosen to start the impeachment inquiry. I think to some degree it’s long overdue, but my main takeaway was that it was good that Pelosi waited and now we have these Ukraine allegations…it seems like this was a lot more valid and it was a really strategic move. Democrats for a while have been supportive of impeachment, and I think it is great that the House Democrats are listening to the people and trying to hold the president accountable. It’s important to uphold American values and justice and hold the president for his actions because if we get too caught up in political strategy, we are losing our values and principles.”
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NEW FOOD POLICY "LIMITING BUT UNDERSTANDABLE" This year, students are restricted to eating lunch only in the Café BY SERENA S.
new policy has been implemented in Upper School that stipulates meals may only be consumed in the cafeteria and the east courtyard. This rule was formed with hopes of reducing the amount of waste, food, and silverware that littered the San Mateo campus. In previous years, students had the privilege of eating food anywhere on campus, but dirty dishes piled up and plates were left everywhere. “There were enough spills on the carpet of the second floor that it required thousands of dollars to replace them,” said Hillary Freeman, Director of Student Life. “We were at our wits’ end.” Even after the administration spoke to students in an assembly, the problem was not resolved. They turned instead to Student Council. Student Council had many ideas that sounded great but in practice could have caused more challenges. Eventually, in the spring semester, Student Council came together to start the Clean Campus Campaign, which was their attempt to help administrators prevent trash by displaying photos of the litter on the monitors. “It didn’t help and people didn’t do anything,” Daniel A. ’21 said. “Plates and silverware were still being left on couches and in classrooms (from club time or lunch meetings), and the final week of school was actually one of the worst in terms of food and litter around campus,” said Jeremy D. ’20, Student Council co-lead and founder of this campaign. The failure of this initiative caused administrators to take further action. Due to concerns like the number of visitors on campus and the opening of the new Diane Rosenberg Wing, administrators implemented the policy that is currently in use. “We have not discussed nor established a timeline for these restrictions to be modified. [Students] should consider this to be the permanent arrangement for the year,” wrote Stephen Dunn, Upper School Division Head, in a school-wide email. “I don’t particularly like the policy, but after witnessing years of neglect and abuse for our building and for the durable supplies we have from the Café, it felt like this was the only option we had,” Dunn said separately. Students have described this rule as restrictive but necessary. “Honestly, I think it makes sense because no one wants to clean up food, but it is a little bit limiting,” Coco L. ’23 said. This policy has also left students with many questions. “What are they going to do if it rains?” asked Isabelle S. ’23, who typically eats her lunch with her friends outside. Lunchtime club leaders are also concerned. “It affects clubs because we can’t eat during club meetings,” said Sian B. ’21, the leader of the Model United Nations club. “It affects the time in which we can actually have the clubs; they can no longer start at the beginning of lunch.” “We’ve been trying so hard. Look at this beautiful building we’re in. This is not what I signed up for, to follow teenagers around to put their food away,” Freeman said. “If everyone would just do their part, we would not have to make these rules.”
THE NUEVA CURRENT
Nine new classrooms give growing Upper School room to breathe BY ALIYA G.
his August, the Diane Rosenberg Wing was opened at the San Mateo campus. The new wing includes seven flexible classrooms, two conference rooms, two offices and workspaces, three outdoor learning patios, and a courtyard and recreation field. The addition of this space brings the upper school campus to 94,000 square feet of buildings and 20,000 square feet of patio, courtyard, and field space for students to enjoy. Faculty have already found exciting ways to use the new space. Rachel Dawson’s art class has shifted to a room on the second floor, and students can easily spill out of the classroom to work on the expansive patio deck. “Teachers have loved the natural light-flooded, flexible classrooms and the environmentally friendly LEED Gold certified design,” said Associate Head of School Terry Lee. Many students are also impressed by the open design—particularly with the third floor terrace, where there are benches seated by pits filled in with succulents. “I love the plants,” Carmen M. ’21 said. “I think that outside area is a great place to relax because it gives calming vibes. It feels like I’m in a terrarium.” Other teachers and students have enjoyed the space for less conventional reasons and used it for more inventive activities. Aron Walker and Tanja Srebotnjak’s
NEW SPACES | Above, the new West Wing, which added an additional nine classrooms to the San Mateo campus. Below, after a year of being closed for construction, students enjoy the landscaped West Courtyard during lunch. PHOTOS BY JOHN MEYER & WILLOW C. Y.
Environmental Science class, for example, staged a geological hunt on the lawn, asking students to find and identify various rocks and use them to piece together the history of the area. “It was hot, but it was very fun. It was a good example of how teachers are using the new space even when their classes aren’t there,” Charlie D. ’22 said. The new wing was initially conceptualized as part of the original campus master plan in 2013. However, it wasn’t approved or built at the time—instead, it was constructed this past year as part of the plan’s third phase. Lee said the project was delivered “under budget and on time.” Donors opted to name the building after Head of School Diane Rosenberg, in recognition of her 19 years of leadership.
THIRD FLOOR TERRACE | The top level of the West Wing is a zen-like space lined with succulents. PHOTO BY JOHN MEYER
COLLEGE BOARD BACKTRACKS ON DECISION TO ASSIGN “ADVERSITY SCORES” STORY BY EUGENIA X. | ILLUSTRATION BY ABBY P.
After widespread criticism, College Board announced at the start of the school year that it would no longer be using the recently introduced adversity score. Rather than assigning concrete scores to schools and neighborhoods, as the adversity score would have done, they announced that they would revise the tool and rename it “Landscape,” which would provide admissions officers background about students’ socioeconomic situations. The Environmental Context Dashboard, introduced May 16, compiled data about schools and their socioeconomic statuses to generate an “adversity score” to be seen in context with an SAT score. Fifty colleges and universities participated in a pilot program before it was officially announced. The plan would
have provided admissions officers access to the Environmental Context Dashboard without allowing test takers to view their adversity score. When it was announced, the program was met with strong backlash. Though many believed that understanding SAT scores with the context of socioeconomic status could level the playing field, people were skeptical that such complex information could be summed up in a single score, which College Board CEO David Coleman admitted was a “mistake.” There were also concerns that the score would be counterproductive, as admissions teams could also use the adversity score to discriminate against low-income applicants.
Director of College Counseling Gavin Bradley said that there is “misplaced angst” about the change, and that the data the index would provide is an important piece of information in college admissions. He said the colleges he was in contact with that piloted the program used the index properly. “The only real concern I have—and it’s not a big one— is that because some aspects of the dashboard look at the
school in which the students are enrolled, I worry that say, a kid from the city may not be getting the full ‘credit’ for the adversity that they live in because of the zip code that our school is in,” Bradley said. “But I really trust our admissions peers to take that type of data...and use it as another piece of the puzzle...and most of our admissions peers are doing a very good job of putting that picture together.”
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NUEVA'S GEN Z CULTURE How we are impacted by the stereotypes around Gen Z culture and social media STORY BY GRACE F. | ILLUSTRATION BY THALIA R.
hether it’s a new video on TikTok or a passionate teenager’s tweet, Generation Z is all over the internet. Social media shows even those not a part of this generation a clear idea of its culture. Gen Z is anyone born between 1996 and 2015, meaning most members of this generation are still in school and most of their lives are heavily defined by social media usage and technology. Given that our oldest graduates were born in the year 1998, the Upper School is unusual in that every student is automatically part of Gen Z. However, students have very different opinions about what Gen Z culture even is. Multiple students said it’s constantly being on social media and technology, speaking to the fact that it is the first generation that doesn’t know a world without smartphones and computers. Donnya J. ’23 referred to the generation as “screenagers”; similarly, Jackson B. ’23 said Gen Z dominates the social media age. “Social media started to blow up a little before our time,” Jackson said, “but we’re the ones who are using it a lot more than what was normal.” Jackson says that he only uses social media for around 10 minutes a day, but that he often sees many of his friends constantly using their phones. Donnya said that she tries to use social media—like Instagram, Snapchat, VSCO, and TikTok—for only one hour a day, but usually ends up using it much more. But while this digital culture gets a bad rep, students say that they use these apps to express themselves through creative content and to communicate with friends in a fun way. Sarah W. ’22 said that it’s a great way to connect with old friends with whom she would’ve otherwise lost contact. Although Sarah isn’t an active user, she still enjoys passively viewing content on social media. This trend of using social media is also helped by technology usage at Nueva. Nueva is a modern and technology-oriented school; every student has their own
laptop, and much of schoolwork and homework is digital. Walking around the campuses, big screens displaying photos and colorful classrooms appear every few feet. Sarah said that she believed the school has so many modern aspects because it was designed to fit Gen Z and its culture. Jackson agreed and said that even though he hasn’t been at Nueva for very long, he can already tell that Gen Z culture is very prevalent among upper school students. However, not all students identify fully with Gen Z culture, as there are many people with different relationships to the culture. Two main concerns that students have are privacy issues and personal image issues associated with social media, like the worry of how other users present themselves and view each other. “You can definitely tell on social media that it’s the perfected version of everyone’s lives,” Jackson said. “These are all the best moments of everyone’s experiences.” Donnya said she avoids certain platforms, VSCO specifically, because she doesn’t want to be labeled as a “VSCO girl,” a term meant for teenage girls who use the popular photo editing app and dress in a certain style. Another common worry is that, as Leilani C. ’23 said, the use of technology can cause some adults to see Gen Z as more detached from the real world. “Sometimes phones get in the way of us having actual and meaningful interactions with people in real life,” Leilani said. Although social media makes it seem like Gen Z members aren’t always part of society, Leilani said it also helps them become more socially aware by both exposing them to current events and social issues and giving them a platform to stand up for what they believe in. Gen Z is a very young generation, but they already have a lot of power to use their social awareness to change the world. “Because we are more socially aware, that gives a lot of opportunities to be like, ‘Wait, all of this stuff is going wrong,’” Sarah said, “and that gives us a good place to start when we do start professional lives to make a positive difference.”
13 REASONS WHY I HATE “13 REASONS WHY” Renewing for Season 4 was unwise and dangerous BY ELIZABETH B. P.
ack in 2017, Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” was so controversial that schools sent out emails about it, warning families that the show might not be appropriate for teens. Two years later, Netflix released the third season and announced the show’s renewal for a fourth. I think that the fact the show has not received much press attention after such a vehement backlash in 2017 is not only strange, but also potentially dangerous. REASON #1 The premise is highly problematic. Committing suicide as a sort of revenge act is not only a dangerous setup, but it is also portrayed as a moral high ground. It might be an attempt at reaching out to people struggling with their mental health, but in many ways, it glorifies or encourages suicide for at-risk populations. REASON #2 The protagonist is boring. Clay Jensen is about as compelling as the rock he throws through his classmate Tyler’s window. He has no real character traits except avenging Hannah Baker’s suicide. He’s not interesting, and by the end of the second season he’s downright unhinged. REASON #3 Clay’s love interest is an offbeat attempt at a manic pixie dream girl crossed with the girl next door. She’s two tropes in one character and then she dies to motivate Clay. She would be compelling and sympathetic if she really strived toward the improvement of her mental health, but she lacks narrative agency and trivializes mental illness.
REASON #4 The portrayal of teenagers is tone-deaf. The show’s depiction of youth isn’t silly enough to be “Riverdale”-level but is far from accurate or compassionate. I want to see young people like Ruby Martinez or Veronica Mars; I want to see young people who are admirable and awkward and flawed all at the same time. I don’t want to see young people like these. REASON #5 The portrayal of seeking help for mental illness is (quite literally) depressing. This isn’t just at the beginning; this is all the way through. The show isn’t fresh in the points it makes. People struggle with mental illness, especially teenagers. While the show may intend to have good points—that help is out there and hope is worthwhile—it rarely lingers long enough to really make those points. REASON #6 The parents are almost uniformly inaccurate. We get it, all TV teenagers hate their parents. TV parents are dramatized for the sake of plot and teen angst. But in a show that wants to be sensitive and nuanced about mental health, I’d expect a little more than flat caricatures of bad parenting. REASON #7 The mental health professionals give therapists a bad reputation and don’t encourage young people to seek help at all. Quick background: the U.S. has a severe shortage of mental health professionals, many of them overworked and underpaid. Therapists can be wrong—they are people, too—but I have yet to see an accurate or competent one anywhere on this show. The message of this is like telling people not to go to doctors just because the doctor might be wrong.
REASON #8 The plot tropes exacerbate the rest of the show’s problems. You want a show about mistaken identity? Amnesia? A trial that lasts forever (truly, “13 Reasons Why” is Kafkaesque only in that it’s confusing to the point of giving up)? Has death threats for teenagers? The melodramatic plot makes it seem as if the real things the show is trying to discuss are distant, impossible, and made up. REASON #9 The supporting cast is stale and worrisome. What do a wise, more interesting best friend, a perfectionist popular girl, a rich kid-slashsex offender, a bullied photographer, and a misguided but kindhearted other bestie have in common? They’re all done better in the original “Veronica Mars.” REASON #10 This show really tried to make money off school shootings, huh? At the end of Season 2, a character plans a shooting before he is talked down by Clay (who questionably does not turn him over to the authorities). I know that this is meant to be a relevant commentary on today’s political climate, but it comes across as the show trying to bolster the protagonist’s heroism or check off a box of political consciousness, rather than take a serious look at gun control. REASON #11 The portrayal of various kinds of relationships is disturbing. Relationships—no matter what kind—can be messy. That doesn’t mean they’re inherently harmful or deceitful. In “13 Reasons Why,” reconciliation is rarely ever possible; the characters are cruel and lie to each other regularly; friendships remain when they shouldn’t and break when it’s implausible.
MOURNING HANNAH | Clay Jensen and two friends mourn the loss of Hannah Baker, who recorded the tapes of the titular thirteen reasons why. PHOTO COURTESY OF "13 REASONS WHY" / NETFLIX
REASON #12 The character development is nonexistent or purely depressing. I want to see a show where characters get better, even if they make mistakes along the way. If they get worse, I want there to be a really, really good reason. REASON #13 The overall message is confusing and harmful. The conclusion the show constantly comes to is that Hannah did what was right (or at least that she didn’t do anything wrong), that the characters are allowed to be terrible to each other because they are sad, and that adults can’t be trusted. This isn’t just bad; it’s dangerous.
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COZY UP TO FANTASTICAL FALL BOOKS
Five thrilling new releases in YA genre to look forward to BY ELIZABETH B. P.
Fall of 2019 promises a host of great new novels from seasoned authors, particularly in the YA realm. For people who’ve been missing old favorites after the ending of popular series— there are whole new spin-off series taking off. For readers of ongoing series, there are sequels and finales in the work. And for people who prefer standalone but who want to read more in similar style, well, there's something for them, too.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo — Oct. 8 Readers may know Leigh Bardugo as a fantasy writer, most famous for Six of Crows and the Grisha trilogy (and most recently for King of Scars), but this novel, set in the real world at Yale University, is a refreshing change of pace while still holding fast to Bardugo’s magical atmosphere in a contemporary setting. Exploring secret societies, Ivy League schools, and the occult, Ninth House will surely be one of the best books of fall. Bardugo’s skill for writing characters as real people in unreal situations promises to make this an unforgettable novel.
THE NUEVA CURRENT
THE NUEVA CURRENT'S
CULTURE CALENDAR Music and literature events you should definitely not miss BY GRACE H.
As the readings start pouring in from humanities classes, it can become difficult to remember that literature, philosophy, and classical music can be enjoyable— and that they exist outside of the realm of panicked, thoroughly procrastinated analysis essays and last-minute memorizations of complicated sheet music. Here are a few arts events in the Bay Area: Philosophy, Science, and Theology: Richard Dawkins in conversation with Robert Sapolsky in San Mateo on Oct. 26
The Toll by Neal Shusterman — Nov. 5 The Toll is the thrilling conclusion to Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, which explores death and law in a society where natural death no longer occurs. It will return readers to the world of Rowan and Citra, two young protagonists working on different sides toward the same goal, after the shutdown of the Thunderhead, a system that rules their world. The Arc of a Scythe trilogy might sound a little dystopian in its premise, but Shusterman’s writing—famous for the Unwind series—keeps it fresh, interesting, and contemplative.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern — Nov. 5 The Starless Sea is a return to Erin Morgenstern’s intricate, otherworldly writing and complex characters, although it is not a return to the world of her acclaimed debut novel, The Night Circus. Morgenstern’s sophomore book promises a Wonderland-like confusion (without all the problems of Alice in Wonderland), and a peculiar tale of a graduate student exploring a world full of magic. For fans of fantasy, it might come as a welcome adventure, complete with an ancient library, a masquerade, and Morgenstern’s characteristic writing.
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater — Nov. 5 Call Down the Hawk is the first in a companion series to Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle, and is the first-ever installment in the world of Gansey and his cohort. The book follows the snarky Ronan Lynch in a fresh, exciting re-entry to the world of ley lines, Aglionby Academy, and the tightly knit group of friends we all fell in love with the first time around. Sure to feature the practical Blue, the academic Gansey, and the undead Noah, this new exploration of the Virginian take on Welsh mythology also promises new characters—Jordan Hennessey and Carmen Farooq-Lane—as well.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi — Dec. 3 Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the much-awaited sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s 2018 novel, Children of Blood and Bone. It features maji protagonist Zélie and her companion, the princess Amari, who now have to deal with the fallout from the return of magic returning to their world. Children of Blood and Bone introduced readers to a fast-paced story of heroism, quests, and a brandnew world of magic strongly influenced by West African mythology. Children of Blood and Bone ended on a cliffhanger that the second book in the trilogy will resolve, while leaving readers anticipating the conclusion to the epic adventure. FOOD
BEHIND THE SCENES:
A look at how the Café serves Nueva every day of every month BY TINA Z.
A few weeks ago, the Café served grilled cheese sandwiches in the salad bar as their “Sandwich Favorite.” The pile of sandwiches disappeared immediately, some students walking around with one, two, or even three grilled cheeses stacked high on their plates. Epicurean, Nueva’s food service provider, put out platter after platter of sandwiches. Erika Suttles, the General Manager, and Rafael “Rafa” Calderon Sr, the Executive Chef, said they were shocked at the sandwiches’ popularity. In the past, similar grilled cheese sandwiches (such as cheddar and tomato, ham and cheese, and more) had sat on the salad bar untouched. Now in their second year of providing meals to Nueva, Epicurean sets the menu, makes all of the food on campus, and feeds over 450 students and faculty/staff, while balancing student opinions with nutrition and other factors. Planning begins one to two months before any meals are served. Each lunch must include protein, healthy
starch, veggies, and be aware of all the different student allergies (ranging from nuts and eggs to dairy and more). Once the menu is drafted, they send it to their headquarters in Los Altos, where a nutritionist confirms all the meals are healthy before returning the menu to Nueva, where it must also be approved by the school leaders. Every bit of food from beginning to end is prepared on campus—that’s roughly 120 pounds of protein, 50 pounds of starch, and 60 to 100 pounds of vegetables. Not much has changed for the staff since last year, but the increase in class size has definitely been noticed: the on-site Epicurean team of eight people cooks the meals on campus and must serve all 450 students in the first eight minutes of lunch to ensure everyone has enough time to eat. As lunch is served, the salad bar is also constantly restocked. The most popular foods on the salad bar are the fruits, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. The toaster also
goes through 24 loaves of bread (mostly sourdough) every day. Overall, Nueva students are healthier than average schools. “This is the first campus that I’ve been on—I’ve been on a lot of campuses, a lot of schools—that they’ve eaten [so many] vegetables. The salad bar get more attention here than anywhere else,” Calderon said. The team tries to remember which meals are unpopular and serve them less. Still, they must balance nutrition with taste: the three most popular meals at Nueva are pizza, burgers, and pasta. Knowing this, they repeat favorites roughly twice a month, but it’s not always possible to tell what students will and will not like. Suttles urges students to complete Epicurean’s student survey, “What’s Hot, What’s Not,” offered every October and January to solicit valuable input on student preferences. “Please tell us what you didn’t like and...what you do want to see on the menu!” Suttles said. “We want to follow that as our map to your tummies.”
Richard Dawkins, who has published numerous books on evolutionary biology and religion as well as pioneering the idea of the gene as the evolutionary selection and coining the word “meme,” will be joined in conversation with Robert Sapolsky, who is a professor of neurology at Stanford, the author of numerous books about the neuroscience behind human and animal behaviors, and a frequent visitor at Nueva, where he helps out with the musical productions. This event, at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, will coincide with the release of Dawkins’ new book, Outgrowing God. Friends of Library Poetry Readings Night: every second Thursday, next one on Oct. 10
The San Francisco Public Library hosts monthly, curated poetry reading events where local and international poets share their work in an informal setting. The October reading will feature San Francisco poet laureate Kim Schuck, who “embraces the fool and jester qualities of being a modern poet and artist,” according to her website, along with several other authors. Free Beethoven’s 5th performance by SF Chamber Orchestra in Palo Alto on Saturday, Oct. 26, 7:30– 10:00 p.m.
The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra will put on a guided performance of Beethoven’s Fifth, often considered the most famous symphony ever written. The performance will consist of the symphony itself as well as guided commentary from the music director. It will take place in the stately assembly space of the First United Methodist Church.
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REVIEW | FOOD
CHUNG DAM RESTAURANT:
A DELICIOUS JUNCTION FOR KOREAN CULINARY TRADITIONALISTS AND SILICON VALLEY This Santa Clara restaurant is making waves for its modern take on Korean traditional dishes BY ABI W.
t’s wise to make a reservation ahead of time if you decide to go to Chung Dam. It’s one of Silicon Valley’s many Korean restaurants, located near a bubble of tech giant campuses. Serving both lunch and dinner, Chung Dam is a popular spot for upscale Korean barbeque, which is enjoyed by everyone from stay-at-home Korean moms wearing knock-off Chanel to visiting businessmen. The most interesting part, however, is that the owner isn’t a chef, but the owner of a semiconductor company in Korea. Known only as Mr. Yim to the restaurant employees, he resides in Korea while providing ideas and resources. It’s up to John Yongmin Lee, the business manager, to work with other staff to execute those ideas. This is done exceptionally, however—the quality of the food and the decor are luxurious and modern.
MODERN INTERIOR | The whole restaurant is simplistic but aesthetic—the entrance is a prime example of it. PHOTO BY ABI W.
Simple porcelain vases, lacquered wood dividers, frosted glass, and whimsical cloud lights greet you as you step in, as well as a tsunami of Korean chatter. Marie Kondo would approve. The waiting area is almost never empty if you choose to visit at dinnertime, but on weekday lunchtimes it’s less hectic. The lunch menu is lackluster and not worth its high price compared to the dinner offerings, though each dish presented still meets drool-worthy and perfectly photogenic standards, unlike its more casual counterparts, such as nearby restaurant Jang Su Jang. Once you are seated, attentive servers will present your cup of dunggulle-cha, a tea usually saved for fancier occasions. According to Lee, this upscale experience is exactly what Mr. Yim had in mind. A wide array of multicolored banchan, or Korean sides, will be served first, ranging from kimchi to dotorimuk, acorn jelly, heralding the arrival of a mosaic of traditional Korean food with an innovative spin. Haemul pajeon, a seafood-scallion pancake with a light layer of crispy fried noodles on top, is a customer favorite. Its unique quality, compared to dishes you might find elsewhere, is that it’s thicker and has a larger batter-to-filling ratio, leading to a slightly undercooked texture in the middle, with vegetables and seafood sparsely distributed throughout. It really tastes more like a beach boardwalk than a slice of the sea—doughy and greasy with a hint of seafood—but the unexpected texture contrast is its saving grace, a unique twist to this traditional dish that yields a satisfying crunch when bitten.
A MODERN FEAST | Yangnyum galbi, banchan, and salad make up this delicious dinner spread at Chung Dam Resturant. PHOTO BY ABI W.
Hot meat is soon to follow, each bite a little package of intricate seasonings tied up with warmth and comfort. According to Lee, all the galbis—grilled beef rib dishes— are well appreciated by customers, but his personal favorite is the Suwon galbi. “It’s seasoned really well and isn’t too sweet like the yangnyum galbi, but salty and tender with a light marinade,” he says. The yangnyum galbi, was tender, juicy, and seasoned well—the perfect umami. The sweetness is balanced by the banchan and salads, avoiding the pitfall of a cloyingly sweet marinade. The galbi was of good quality, and there were no large lumps of fat or gristle. It was extremely juicy and tender, and the flavors were all well balanced. Though this may seem like the end of the meal, more is yet to come. Don’t skimp on the dwenjang jjigae, fermented soy paste soup, available in either seafood or beef types or a type of naengmyun, cold buckwheat noodles to help end this gastronomical adventure with a bang. The dwenjang jjigae has a good kick that shakes off the onset of grogginess after the meat course and it
contains a variety of veggies, bits of meat, or seafood. On its own, it’s very salty, so it’s a good idea to either have it with rice or leftover meat. Helpings are small but big enough to not leave you wanting. Still, if you’re dining in groups of four or more, it’s a good idea to try a naengmyun as well. You can have naengmyun either in a cold broth or with spicy sauce and cucumbers, Korean pear, and half a boiled egg. The Korean pear provides a refreshing crunch and texture after the previous courses and is a perfect touch to the overall feel of the dish—after all, it is a favorite fruit in the oppressing heat and humidity of Korean summers. It’s important to also add the provided mustard and vinegar to taste, as it’s bland on its own. Traditionally, a meal is concluded with sikhae, a sweet traditional rice drink, but at Chung Dam, you get hobak sikhae, a sweet pumpkin variant. It’s usually saved for special occasions, but at Chung Dam, it’s what they do—innovation and improvement.
JIGGLY CHEESECAKE Uncle Tetsu's cheesecakes are both fluffy and jiggly, a perfect balance of textures. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNCLE TETSU
REVIEW | FOOD
FOR THE FOODIES: HILLSDALE MALL New Dining Terrace offers an array of meal and snack options close to campus BY EUGENIA X.
t is no secret that Nueva students love food. Lunch periods begin with a stampede to the Café. Bags of bread get emptied by the end of each day. This year, new panini presses were even hauled into the Café. Lockers are stuffed to the brim with snacks.
Students also frequent locations off-campus to satisfy their cravings, stopping at Tin Pot for ice cream on the way to Hillsdale Station or braving a much longer journey to the Habit Burger Grill. As students begin to take advantage of their open-campus privileges and more extracurriculars prompt them to stay near campus after school, they will likely turn their sights toward the Hillsdale Shopping Center’s relatively new development. The Hillsdale Shopping Center debuted its Dining Terrace Nov. 17, 2018. Located on the second floor, the Dining Terrace houses restaurants and indoor and outdoor dining spaces, decorated with greenery and furnished with an array of seating options that all boast charging ports. The restaurants serve a range of cuisines, from ramen to jiggly Japanese cheesecake.
Eating one of Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecakes is like napping on a fluffy, pale cloud— except the cloud dissolves in your mouth. Founded in Hakata, Japan, in 1985 by the original “Uncle Tetsu” Tetsushi Mizokami, Uncle Tetsu’s unique take on a popular dessert has become a worldwide favorite that has finally arrived at Bay Meadows. Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese cheesecakes are said to combine the rich flavor of an American cheesecake with the fluffiness of a French soufflé. The cheesecakes’ signature “jiggle” has caught the attention of not only the curious consumer, but also larger media corporations; even Buzzfeed’s food network, Tasty, has created their own version of the jiggly cheesecake recipe. Jiggle aside, Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecakes are also delicious. They’re incredibly light and airy, but somehow still retain the creaminess of a classic American cheesecake, so much so that a single person could easily devour a whole cake by themself.
KURO-OBI Kuro-Obi is a ramen shop that focuses heavily on chicken ramen, though their menu does have a vegetarian option and a variety of side dishes, such as takoyaki (ball-shaped appetizer made of batter and cooked in a special molded pan, usually filled with minced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion). The small white bowls, decorated with a drawing of the New York City skyline, contain absolute flavor bombs— even the broth of the vegetarian option is rich and full. The noodles are firm without being crunchy. Though the size of the order felt small, it was the perfect portion for me.
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THE NUEVA CURRENT
MEET YOUR FACULTY:
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR NEW TEACHERS BY ANOUSCHKA B.
Bron was born in New York and grew up on the East Coast. During middle school, his family drove across the country to Point Reyes, where he developed his appreciation for the environment and conservation. Bron also enjoys backpacking, running, and reading.
Paul was born in Colorado, but grew up in Newport News, VA. Paul came to California in 2004 to study at UC Berkeley. He has two young kids and loves spending time with them. He also enjoys cycling, traveling, cooking, gardening, and going to art museums.
Allison grew up in Virginia. She taught for a long time in New York, and later at an all-girls school in Connecticut. This summer, Allison and her children moved to San Francisco. She loves exploring the city, reading, and trying new and exciting foods with her kids.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love to go running and play ultimate frisbee. I also really like playing the flute and I like to read fiction and nonfiction, so I usually end my day with a cup of tea and a good book. I am also an avid backpacker and mushroom forager.
What’s a goal you have for this year? I have many goals that center around learning about the Nueva community and what makes it so unique and what inspires the people. A secondary goal is that I really want to do some project in the I-Lab.
Who is someone that inspires you? My teaching mentor. He taught me how to be a teacher and every time I plan something or think about what to do in class, I have his voice in my head coaching me through.
CHEMISTRY & BIOLOGY
What is your favorite backpacking trip that you’ve been on? The summer before senior year of high school, I went on a month-long backpacking trip to the Wind River Range—a gorgeous mountain range in Wyoming with many rivers and lakes.
Is there anything that has surprised you since you joined the Nueva community? The different expressions of creativity are really cool among the students, whether that’s artistic creativity, creative problem solving, or creative ways of argumentation and structural thinking.
RESEARCH LIBRARIAN Joy grew up in Nanjing, and moved here from Ohio. She enjoys taking long walks and exploring different trails. She likes shopping and learning to cook.
Favorite book and TV show? I used Pride and Prejudice at first as a way to learn and improve my English. A favorite TV series is “Seinfeld,” which was the first sitcom that I followed after I moved to the U.S., and it’s a very funny show. Do you have a guilty pleasure? I read tabloids and People magazine; I guess it’s a guilty pleasure! I like shopping; it’s a guilty pleasure, too.
ANDREW ALEXANDER MATH 3
Andrew was born here, but he moved to Ithaca, NY. His parents worked at Cornell University, and he went to school for a year in Japan. He loves reading, writing, and outdoor activities.
Favorite part of your summer this year? My favorite part was driving 3,500 miles from New York to California, which I did over the course of 10 days. I did a lot of adventuring along the way. It was my seventh crosscountry road trip since college. What are some of your favorite books? The Brothers Karamazov and Four Quartets are some of my favorites. In terms of contemporary books, I like The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, and The Places in Between by Rory Stewart.
KEVIN QUINN 9TH/11TH/12TH GRADE ENGLISH Kevin grew up in Michigan and worked with Claire Yeo and Allen Frost in Hong Kong. Kevin enjoys tennis and reading and is writing a novel.
Do you have a hidden talent? Hidden to some, perhaps, is that I’m a singer. I spent a lot of time in high school and college singing and I still do when I can, though I don’t sing as often as I used to. Who is someone that inspires you? My former head of English in Hong Kong, Helen Parker. She is super intelligent, knows how to assemble a good team of people, and also has a very inspiring way of living her life— to enjoy life and not to deny yourself things. In a word, she’s awesome.
MATH 1 & MATH 2
Susan grew up in New Jersey and always knew that she wanted to teach. In college, she decided to double major in math and physics, and she became a high-school math teacher for 27 years. She enjoys walking, cooking, spending time with her kids, and theater.
Who is someone that inspires you? Danielle Dell is someone who inspires me. I’ve known her for a long time—I interviewed her for a job around 18 years ago. We’ve been colleagues and friends since then, and what inspires me is her moral compass and her focus. What is a goal you have for this year? As a teacher, I want to support students in reaching their full potential.
MATH 3 & CALCULUS Qiao grew up in Tianjin, a city near Beijing. She came to California with her parents during middle school, went to high school in San Francisco, and then went to UC Berkeley for college. She likes trying new foods in different restaurants, cooking, and traveling.
Music you’ve been listening to lately? Lately, nothing in particular, but I really like Taylor Swift. I like how she changed over time and became a really talented woman. Do you have any hidden talents? I did Chinese traditional dance and I also did ballet for five or six years, but I stopped when I came here. I tried playing drums, and I’m still learning.
9TH/10TH GRADE ENGLISH Jasmin grew up in San Diego and later went to UC Berkeley for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She loves spending time with her twoyear-old son and enjoys running.
9TH/12TH GRADE ENGLISH
Do you have any guilty pleasures? Chipwiches. I can never say no to a chipwich. (A chipwich is an ice cream sandwich made of ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies and rolled in chocolate chips.)
PUT A NAME
TO A FACE A
9TH GRADE ENGLISH Ariel grew up in New York City and later went to graduate school at Tufts University, where she earned her doctorate in English and American literature. Some of her hobbies are reading and writing. She also loves traveling, spending time with her family, and athletic activities. Favorite part of your summer break? We traveled to Iceland and Denmark, and that was fantastic. Mostly we were on the west coast of Iceland, mainly Reykjavík and areas near there, so we were in both city and countryside. What has surprised you since you have joined the Nueva community? I have been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and engagement of students—I heard good things about Nueva, but this exceeded my expectations.
CALCULUS & MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS Rebecca grew up in Saint Louis. She taught in New York for 10 years as a private tutor before decideding to teach at a school. She enjoys dancing, music, yoga, and going to museums and galleries. What are your hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time? I do a few different types of dance that are very expressive—more contemporary dancing or concert dance. I also play the fiddle in a folk-rock band. It’s one that I founded with my friends, and we play open mics or house parties. We’re recording our first album right now. Artist you’ve been listening to lately? I have been obsessed with Lizzo lately, and I really love her messages of body positivity and self-acceptance. That’s kind of my power music when I’m on the way to school getting myself ready for the day!
10TH/11TH GRADE ENGLISH Amber is originally from Chicago, but she grew up near the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. She has been teaching for the last 10 years, and has a Master of Fine Arts degree. She is passionate about writing, especially poetry and nonfiction.
Do you have any guilty pleasures? Watching rom-coms—my husband doesn’t like them very much, so it’s whenever I’m on a trip by myself that I’m usually able to watch one.
Do you have a guilty pleasure? I love going fast—being on a waverunner or a jetski in the middle of the lake, and just going for it. I like the thrill and speed of things.
What song do you have on repeat lately? Something that recently got stuck in my head is an old song from the 1970s by Stephen Stills called “Love the One You’re With.” It’s pretty catchy, so if you’ve never heard it, I recommend giving it a listen!
Who is someone that inspires you? Jenny Boully, who was my professor and thesis advisor during my MFA program at Columbia College Chicago. She has written several works, both poetry and prose, and I aspire to have the dedication that she puts into her work, both as an educator and a writer.
A. Qiao Liu, B. Bronimir Adler-Ivansbrook, C. Joy Gao, D. Ariel Balter, E. Paul Hauser, F. Allison Alberts, G. Susan Seeley, H. Rebecca Alaly, I. Amber Carpenter, J. Kevin Quinn, K. Andrew Alexander, L. Jasmin Miller
CALCULUS & ADVANCED MECHANICS
12 11 1:1
new faculty members join the family of Nueva teachers and staff of the new faculty grew up outside of California ratio of new STEM and new humanities faculty
page 9 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
CHECKING IN WITH CLAIRE How a beloved English teacher is transitioning into her new role as Assistant Division Head BY ANOUSCHKA B.
he hot July sun beat down on the San Mateo campus as Claire Yeo approached her new office, feeling a tinge of nostalgia for her many years as an English teacher, when summer vacation lasted deep into August. Though she was eager for her new work to begin, it felt a bit strange to sit at her unfamiliar desk overlooking the still-empty school hallways. Yeo taught English at the Upper School for the past three years and served as the 12th-grade dean last year. It was thus a surprise for many when it was announced that, starting in the 2019–2020 school year, she would instead take up the role of Assistant Division Head, being the first to hold the new position. The role entails creating the master schedule, the year’s worth of weekly arrangements of classes for the entire Upper School, while also factoring in each student’s and teacher’s needs and requests. Beyond this, it involves adding more interdisciplinary connections to the curriculum, particularly with trips and schoolwide initiatives. Taking on such a role seemed daunting at first, and Yeo said that she felt a bit nervous at the beginning. “I didn’t really feel like I fit in,” Yeo admitted. “I just didn’t know where to begin; I felt a little overwhelmed.” However, once school started and the halls were full of lively faculty and students, Yeo realized that her role was really about people and places—something she’s very comfortable with. “It made me feel that I’m looking forward to this new role and that it does enlist a lot of things I love doing after all,” Yeo said. For 25 years, Yeo has shared her passion for English literature with her students, and in turn many of her past students have expressed their appreciation for her as their teacher. Steven K. ’20, who had Yeo as an English teacher last year, noted that she truly cared about what she taught. Steven
immediately used the word “passionate” to describe her as a teacher. Another former student, Isabel A. ’20, said Yeo left her with a lasting impression of how to connect one’s own background to literature. “The best thing you can do is to take your own context and experience into what you’re doing,” Isabel said. While Yeo cherished her years of teaching, as she became more comfortable as an English teacher, she realized she wanted to move out of the classroom and work behind the scenes to support the community in a different way. “I see it as stepping back into something a little more of a service,” Yeo said. She also enjoys tackling problems that require vastly different skills from the ones she used as an English teacher, observing that it was “refreshing” to be a learner again. Working on the summer schedule with her team was a “really steep learning curve,” and she was surprised by how much she enjoyed it. Creating the spring schedule is something Yeo is already looking forward to, and she wants to make the scheduling process smoother for everyone. “'I’m looking forward to speaking with faculty and students about how they found the experience, and incorporating their suggestions to transform the process," Yeo said. She has also discovered new aspects of the school that she hadn’t previously seen. Whereas before she only got to know juniors and seniors in the classroom, she now meets the whole student population. “Putting faces to names has been a delight,” Yeo said. While the first few weeks of school have been very busy for the new assistant division head, especially with the fall schedule and course change requests, she is still enthusiastic about her role. “It’s been such a crazy time,” Yeo said, “but am I crazy to say that I love it?” Changing roles, however, has also
STUDENT CENTERED | Claire Yeo, center, in the thick of upper school students on the first day of school. While her new role takes her outside of her own classroom, students remain at the focus of her responsibilities. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
made Yeo realize the inevitable separation between the administration and faculty. “It’s strange being on the other side of the tapestry,” Yeo said. “When I walk around, the halls are silent and the teaching seems to be going on behind closed doors.” As a teacher, Yeo was so occupied by her busy teaching schedule that she never got to know the administrative faculty or positions. To her, so much of the administrative work seemed to be meetings, emails, and dealing with crises, should one arise; but though that is a component, Yeo realized that the most integral part of her role is interacting with people in every part of the community. Yeo is also looking forward to returning to the classroom for a different reason
this year: to observe the faculty’s teaching practice as part of a feedback process. “It will be my pleasure to be in an exhilarating Nueva classroom seeing how our faculty and students work together to explore their material,” Yeo said. Yeo may have started on a new chapter in her career, but the experience she’s had interacting with others and the dedication she applied to teaching will accompany her into her new role. “I really look forward to seeing how this role can be an expression, not only of me and of my values, but of humane and intellectual values,” Yeo explained, “and how this role can affect the emotional and intellectual life of the school for the better.”
CLUB “ABANDONMENTS” FUEL EFFORTS FOR CHANGE Student Life Representative and club leaders express their concerns and solutions to the problem of member recruitment and retention
CLUBS FAIR 2019 | Audrey H. '20 started a new a cappella club, Nueva Notes, for singers who identify as female and nonbinary. PHOTO BY WILLOW C. Y.
he Clubs Fair is an experience like no other. The West Wing’s courtyard— filled with students eager to pitch their clubs to potential members—was the venue for this year’s Club’s Fair, where faculty and students alike wandered around the decorated tables. The hustle and bustle of upper school students asking questions and exploring the exposition only added to the excitement in the air. Clubs are a chance for high school students to share what they care about
with their classmates. Anyone can start a club if they have a passion they’d like to share with the community, and all clubs receive support from a faculty adviser. There are currently 62 clubs, created and led by students from all grades. Students have a diversity of hobbies and interests, and every school year brings new and innovative clubs with these interests. However, having such a large variety of clubs doesn’t guarantee membership. “People sign up for a lot of [clubs] and don’t show up to meetings for most of them,” said Alexander R. ’21, the Student Life Representative on Student Council. “Abandoning clubs is something that needs to be changed.” Maya M. ’20, leader of the Kindness Club, feels that much of this abandonment is due to scheduling conflicts. The Kindness Club has been around for 5 years, and works to bring kindness into the community by planning and executing appreciation projects for faculty members and reminding students to take care of themselves. “Almost every single person I’ve talked to has dropped out of a club because of scheduling constraints,” Maya said.
BY LAURA C.
Due to the abundance of clubs in the Upper School, meeting times inevitably overlap. Club leaders choose one day of the week to meet, and if students want to sign up for multiple clubs, they have to choose which club to attend if they share a meeting day. “Dropouts are mostly because there are so many interesting clubs that people don’t know which ones to go to on which days,” Maya said. A common way for people for people who are interested in specific clubs to help out and stay in the loop is through mailing lists. Mailing lists are used to send out emails to club members. Anyone can request to be part of a club mailing list, regardless of whether they attend the meetings or not. These lists are useful for communicating schedule changes and reminders for important events. This only works, however, for clubs that communicate effectively. “The communications system could get better. People knowing which clubs are happening when, scheduling, that sort of thing,” Maya said. “I believe that making a schoolwide shareable document, like when clubs are meeting and descriptions,
not just during the Clubs Fair but also as a schoolwide thing, would be helpful. Right now, only club leads are getting that information, but having the rest of the school do that would be great.” However, Alexander believes that communication is not necessarily the problem. “If you sign for a club, you aren’t obligated to show up,” Alexander said. “I think that having more opportunities to promote clubs will help people…find a new club that they haven’t thought about before. The Clubs Fair was one of the only times where clubs got to shine.” Alexander has thought of creative ways to let clubs take back the spotlight. “One thing I’m already planning on doing is [to have] one or two clubs give a pitch [at each All Hands Meetings] and show what their club is about for a designated amount of time,” he said. The first Club Spotlight took place at the All Hands Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in which Model United Nations and Anime Club were featured. Alexander has also sent out a clubs list as well as a form for students to sign up for other clubs.
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PLAN Departing Head of School Diane Rosenberg reflects on her tenure and looks to the future BY WILLOW C. Y.
iane Rosenberg wasn’t looking for a job when Nueva came calling 19 years ago—in fact, the first time she was asked to apply for their Head of School position by a friend who ran a search firm, she’d already half-jokingly told him and other recruiters, “Please don’t call me again.” She’d thought nothing of Nueva’s Head of School Search other than as another recruiting request. In the end, it was her husband, Bob Rosenberg, who finally convinced her to take a look. “He said, ‘This is the school you’ve always wanted to found,’” Rosenberg recalled. “So I did look at the website that night in late 2000, early 2001, and he was right. I loved everything about it.” Weeks later, she visited the Hillsborough campus for three days while school was in session—that, she said, was when she began the second of her life’s two “great love affairs,” her family and Nueva. “It was like falling in love,” Rosenberg said. “Truly.” She’d fallen for the “beautiful” campus, the “extraordinary” faculty, the walls of a particular fourth grade classroom that she remembered, plastered with world maps from a geography unit taught by Kim Saxe—but most of all, she was struck by the students. “I’d never met a group of students so engaged in what they were doing,” she said. “That’s when I realized that I had just fallen in love, and was so intrigued.” Even so, the first time Nueva offered her the
STORY TIME | Diane Rosenberg always makes sure to spend time with students— visiting classes, conversing in the hallways, and always taking meetings with them. “I remember watching her with the kindergarten class; she was reading them a children's animal book The first time I ever met her,” Lee Holtzman recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘That's a good sign. That's a good leader.’” PHOT0S FROM THE NUEVA MEDIA ARCHIVES
Head of School position, she turned them down. It took the head of the search committee a flight to the East Coast and a dinner, but in the end, Rosenberg accepted. “Bob and I looked at one another and said, ‘Yes,'” she said. “I realized how much this school spoke to my heart.” Nineteen years later, sitting comfortably at the paper-littered table in her office, Rosenberg was the picture of nostalgia made lively with the hope of future plans, and she held the wistful expression of a departing Head of School after 19 years on the job. “It’s time,” she said. “It was a hard decision to make. I’m not looking for anything else; I can’t imagine being in another school when I’ve loved this school as deeply and as long as I have.” Even in her last year, Rosenberg’s list of goals is ambitious and extensive, ranging from the tangible,
like visiting more classrooms, to the abstract, like upholding Nueva’s core missions. “Our strategic plan is a living document,” she explained. “We move the school forward, remaining on the leading edge of education, through our task forces. This work is very interesting and deeply meaningful.” Due to her many responsibilities—especially in her final year—time seems to be the precious commodity; however, Rosenberg says that she’s already blocked off space in her schedule to meet with more students, and is looking forward to going to the Innovative Learning Conference to attend teacher presentations. “I love hearing students’ thoughts and perspectives and have always gotten my most creative ideas from [them] and their teachers,” she said. She’s also looking to create a “gifted consortium,” which would bring independent schools nationally and internationally together once or twice a year to “learn and share best practices,” as she put it. Along with other members of the community, she has just begun reaching out to schools. “There are gifted learners in every classroom in this country. So many languish, especially in the elementary and middle school years,” Rosenberg explained. “What can we do to share with others what we are most fortunate to be able to do? I believe every student deserves what we are able to offer ours.’” Rosenberg’s tenure, the longest in Nueva’s history, was characterized by stabilization—having been hired after what she described as a “difficult period” in 1997 when the school nearly closed—followed by rapid growth as well as the upkeep of that mission of gifted education. Under her supervision, the student population has nearly tripled from 317 to just over 900 and the San Mateo campus was established in 2014 under her supervision. A new building has already been added to it, named in honor of Rosenberg by the lead donors. She also pioneered the use of task forces to investigate questions in the community, a practice that she introduced and is proud to share with other institutions. The success of the school has catapulted it into not only a far more visible spot among top private schools in the Bay Area, but also amidst global progressive education, with weekly visits by national and international educators. “Simply put, Diane has transformed Nueva,” wrote Bruce Cozadd, the chair of the Board of Trustees, in a letter announcing Rosenberg’s retirement. “Nueva—a model for gifted learning, innovative teaching, and institutional vibrancy—is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership and excellence.” Through that growth, Lee Holtzman, who attended the Lower and Middle Schools as a student and has taught at Nueva for seven years, says that Rosenberg has never lost sight of Nueva’s core mission: serving gifted learners. “I think one of the things that Diane champions that is very difficult to champion in this world is gifted education,” Holtzman said. “And it was one of the reasons I came back and it is one of the reasons I stay.” Rosenberg has been a self-described longtime advocate for gifted education. While the terminology can prove sensitive, with a history marked with discriminatory connotations, Rosenberg describes gifted people as those with “the unusual questions, unusual curiosity, unusual level of engagement.” From its conception, Nueva was meant to be a
“safe haven for gifted learners,” as Rosenberg put it. However, as the school expanded, members of the community were concerned with whether that culture of intellectual curiosity could and would be maintained. “I was very afraid that with growth would come a loss of that mission,” Holtzman said. “One of the things I appreciate about Diane is that she lets some of the chaos happen, and [also] keeps us on mission.” Caron Anscombe, Rosenberg’s executive assistant of four years, has also witnessed this dedication firsthand. “There are very few people in the world that are true innovators and have challenged conventional methods…in education; Diane is one of those people,” she said. “Diane’s passion and vision have driven Nueva to become a globally recognized education establishment, giving students a unique learning environment and experience.” Rosenberg believes that while the growth has changed a lot of Nueva’s culture, it has not changed
"Our strategic plan is a living document... This work is very interesting and deeply meaningful.” the school's core identity and values. “I know it's not every day or in every way, but fundamentally, so deeply valued is a culture of kindness,” she said. “[T]he culture is really deeply rooted…and has always been true to itself.” Many of the academic practices at Nueva— like self-evaluations and the absence of grading curves—focus on maintaining this idea of self-improvement rather than comparison. Rosenberg says that she particularly stresses this in Lower and Middle School, when students are first understanding social competition. “One of my favorite stories is about a little boy who was in kindergarten. He was very mathematically precocious, years ahead. However, he had a real challenge making friends. So he talked to his friend and said, ‘I’m really good at math, but I’m not good at making friends. You’re really good at
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FACULTY SHARE THEIR HOPES FOR THE NEXT HEAD
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
SEARCHING FOR OUR NEXT HEAD
Search for new Head of School casts net far and wide, digs deep into what Nueva culture means
ARTA KHAKPOUR, HISTORY TEACHER "I think the biggest imperative is going to be finding someone who understands Nueva’s history, mission, and values. I think that'll be the challenge, as we're going from someone who had been part of this community for a very long time to have someone for whom this will be potentially as new as a freshman."
JENNIFER PERRY, WRC TEACHER AND MIDDLE SCHOOL WRITING TEACHER "I hope that our new head of school, like Diane, supports professional development, creating a community across the campuses, and innovation. She’s very quick to support new ideas and to move our team forward, whether it’s mastery transcripts or personalized learning."
M&M MEMORIES | Diane Rosenberg stands in front of the Mansion at the Hillsborough campus. “I always had an open door policy, and little kids don't care if you're in a meeting or not. They fling open the door and come in. And I got to know the kids very well,” Rosenberg said. “The kids themselves would literally pop in [whenever]. They were allowed to have three M&Ms [from the M&M dispenser on my desk]. We'd often stop a meeting so they could do that. And then they would tear out again.” PHOT0S FROM THE NUEVA MEDIA ARCHIVES
making friends. Would you help me?’” Rosenberg recalled. “That for me is Nueva. It’s that sense of the recognition. Kids at a very early age will understand an ability that another student has and not be diminished by it.” While this upcoming July marks the end of Rosenberg’s journey with Nueva and the conclusion of a significant era in the institution’s 53-year history, it’s also a beginning for both Rosenberg and the community she’s fostered. For Rosenberg, it means she can start spending more time with family by moving back to the East Coast near her grandchildren instead of just seeing them a couple times a year. She will, of course, miss her second love “tremendously.” “I love the vitality, the vibrancy, the dynamism,” she said. “I’ll miss that, I’ll miss your questions, I’ll miss the engagement and curiosity. I’ll miss everything.” Rosenberg is excited and hopeful about whoever takes up the mantle of her position. “I think it’s healthy for schools to have new leadership and new directions. [Head of School searches] energize a community,” Rosenberg said. “We have such talented faculty, and we have an extraordinary board that’s very strategic and clear in direction. It feels like it’s time for someone else to begin that new chapter.”
"It feels like it’s time for someone else to begin that new chapter."
CHELSEA DENLOW, HISTORY TEACHER "I would appreciate a head of school who continues to share that innovative vision, who lets teachers teach to what they’re passionate about and lets teachers build the curriculum to what the kids are passionate about. I think that’s a huge thing and not every school gives that freedom. A head of school who values the input and voices of others, but can also make decisions."
YOKO SASE, JAPANESE TEACHER “Someone who carries on the spirit of the school motto, ‘Learn by doing, learn by caring,’ and someone who can be courageous to do something completely different from what other schools do...because that’s Nueva!”
After their visit, Hester and Ulfers said, “One of our most important findings is the exceptional degree of agreement across the community about the philosophical underpinnings of Nueva. We don’t imagine that all is perfect here; such is the reality of any school. But you as students, your parents, the board, and unquestionably your teachers—you all know why you are here and why this place is so important to your learning.” While Rosenberg is not involved in the search process, she will have the opportunity to meet the finalists. Upper School Division Head Stephen Dunn has met twice with the search committee and consultants to provide background and information about Nueva as well as his own perspectives. Using this qualitative data gathered from their Discovery Visit and other meetings, Hester and Ulfers are currently working to build a “Position Statement”—a “job description, slash marketing, slash background,” as Dunn put it—which, in addition to posting on the RG175 website, they will send out to 4,000 school leaders around the globe. “Nueva is well-known worldwide as a progressive school with pedagogy that sets high standards and creates important if not essential learning opportunities,” Hester and Ulfers said. “Many of the school heads we have met thus far are keen to be a part of an innovative school like Nueva, where there is fidelity to its mission and an unambiguous belief in what Diane calls, ‘Not college prep, but life preparation.’ The wholeness of education has special and important meaning here.” While they have already begun interviewing semifinalists, Hester and Ulfers said they will “remain open” to late applicants. “We [will] keep an open mind and stay flexible to encourage as many conversations with talented leaders as possible,” they said. “[We know] that the best work-fit candidate may come
"Many of the school heads we have met thus far are keen to be a part of an innovative school like Nueva, where there is fidelity to its mission and an unambiguous belief in what Diane calls, ‘Not college prep, but life preparation.'" —SEARCH FIRM CONSULTANTS FROM RG175
to the interview table later than others.” The search process has been meticulous. “I think it’s a big responsibility that the board is undertaking, and I know that they’re going to be really thoughtful about their selection,” Dunn said. “They admire Diane in all the ways that we admire her and the incredible way that she’s been a visionary for the school and for education at large.” Rosenberg’s dedication to the school’s missions, Ulfers and Hester said, is what the majority of the community prioritizes and wishes for in the next Head. “We know that the new Head of School must speak with equal passion and dedication as Diane to the tenets, research, and best practices of gifted education and the unique learning opportunities so essential to tapping the skills and talents of both students and teachers,” they said. Similarly, Dunn stressed that a new Head should keep the culture and mission through the growth. “I have such a great deal of respect for what Diane has done for Nueva during her tenure. It's not at all hyperbolic to say that she's been transformative in the history of the school,” Dunn said. “So, I think we need someone who is just as committed as she is to continuing to nurture the mission of the school and ensure that we're always providing outstanding education to gifted learners which is our is our mission. It's a big responsibility to step into her shoes.”
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THE NUEVA CURRENT
BY JORDAN M.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAM SURGES IN PARTICIPATION Program immerses students in hands-on, diverse experiences BY VALERIE B.
ow entering its fifth year, Nueva’s summer internship program seeks to place students in various internships with organizations in the Bay Area and beyond that provide students with valuable work experience. Students are required to go through an application process similar to real jobs, including writing a cover letter, building a resume, and being interviewed. The internships provide eye-opening experiences for students. Katie Saylor, Director of Internships, said that the experience exposes the students to a new type of career and people. This past summer, 58 students were part of the program, more than double the 2018 participation. Sixty-nine internships were offered through 40 different employers, the greatest numbers in the program’s history. Saylor attributed this growth to the fact that the program was open to the sophomore class for the first time. “Nueva is a school that’s ‘stage not age,’ and [opening the program to sophomores] felt like a really important way to honor that part of our culture,” Saylor said. The internship committee was highly supportive of students in their programming and offered cover letter workshops and LinkedIn sessions to eligible students, allowing for increased awareness of the program. As the program continues, the internship committee and Saylor are making an
1 | "I went backpacking in Yosemite for 10 days with a program called Back to Earth. I've been going on these trips every summer for the past few years, and it's incredible every time. I get to really immerse myself in nature surrounded by great people and beautiful wilderness. Being out there really gives you a completely new perspective and seriously unforgettable experiences." PHOTO BY TOMO G. 2 | Science of Mind teacher Sean Schochet went sightseeing in Antelope Canyon in Arizona with his wife and dog. Schochet enjoyed meeting people from the Navajo Nation and learning about their culture, as well as "celebrating cultural differences and remembering First Nation people." PHOTO COURTESY OF SEAN SCHOCHET 3 | Max G. '20 took an underwater adventure in the Revillagigedo Archipelago near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “My father was a prominent sailor in England, and so the sea has been a large part of my upbringing—and even so, this trip made me fall even more deeply in love with the sea,” Max said. He went scuba diving with manta rays, whale sharks, pelagic fish, and feeding dolphins. “I took this shot as I looked up at the seven stories of water that separated me from my gaseous, terranean home, and it reminds me of what if feels like to exist in the pristine marine silence.” PHOTO BY MAX G.
4 | Amanda W. '21 spent a weekend in Tahoe with some other students as a way to get away and relax in nature before the school year officially kicked off. "When you spend over 96 hours with your friends, you either end up loving them or hating their guts," Amanda said. "I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve only grown closer to them." PHOTO COURTESY OF AMANDA W. 5 | Joseph K. '21 went on many adventures in Kenya with his family. "We went for sixhour drives through the African wilderness every day, seeing all types of animals," Joseph said. "The most valuable thing was all of the downtime to relax and think. It showed me that I need to have time to completely relax and be off technology." PHOTO BY JOSEPH K. 6 | Jonah R. '21 took a vacation with his family in Hawaii for a relative's wedding. During his trip, Jonah said that he learned about the value of rest. "I enjoyed wading in the open water as the waves pushed and pulled me and feeling weightless," Jonah said. "A tip I would give when visiting Hawaii is to not obsessively plan each second." PHOTO BY JONAH R.
7 | "I lived in Zamalek, a neighborhood of Cairo, and explored extensively. The most valuable part of the month I spent in Egypt was immersion in a different culture, a different pace, and a fully different way people interact with each other, especially stranger-to-stranger interactions. I have been thinking about this communal willingness to pitch in and how we both show big hints of it at Nueva and how we can make it a part of our day-to-day culture." PHOTO BY LEE HOLTZMAN 8 | I-Lab and Quest teacher Angi Chau took a trip with her family to Tokyo to do some sightseeing and lots of eating. The photo was taken of the menu at a random restaurant in the Ebisu neighborhood where Chau’s Airbnb was. "Even though it was pretty intimidating to walk into this restaurant given this menu that we could not decipher even with Google Translate, we are so glad we did because the food was excellent and the staff was beyond nice," Chau said. "At the time, it was just a fun experience, but now that I reflect on it, I think it is a good reminder that sometimes the most memorable and rewarding experiences are also the ones that seem most scary or intimidating at first." Chau’s tip for visiting Tokyo is to take time to wander around with no destination in mind. "That's how we discovered the coolest little alleys, tiny family restaurants, and cutest shops." PHOTO BY ANGI CHAU
effort to work with more humanities, social justice, and public sector positions. Although STEM fields are especially popular, Saylor is excited by the level of interest from students in the arts and humanities. Entering her second year as Director of Internships, Saylor is looking forward to going through the process again with a solidified understanding of it, incorporating feedback she received last year, like focusing more on building resumes over LinkedIn profiles. The internship showcase will be held on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m., and is open for the community to learn more about students’ internships.
San Francisco Superior Court Five students—Carmen M. ’21, Claire G. ’21, Audrey C. ’19, Eleanor M. ’21, and Natalie A. ’20—interned at the San Francisco Superior Court. They worked directly with Judge Susan M. Breall to learn about legislation involving the dependency system, specifically surrounding the child protective services, social workers, and attorneys working with abused, abandoned, and neglected children and their parents. They shadowed Breall in court every day, observed her cases, and created reports and memos on different policies. Carmen had takeaways from the internship that surprised her. She enjoyed meeting with the lawyers before court, and seeing them collaborate to find the best solution for the child. “Usually, when you think of court you think of lawyers fighting with each other, but actually, in the juvenile dependency system, all of the lawyers had to work together, so it was a unique environment,” Carmen said.
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Tyler G. ’20 and Cevi B. ’20 interned at the the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. The institute runs cancer immunotherapy trials, invents new drugs, and partners with hospitals across the country to run drug trials, where the data is sent back to Parker Institute to be processed. Interns assisted the informatics team’s efforts to analyze cancer immunotherapy research and trends, largely by formatting the trial data in a standardized way and then uploading it into the database to perform a meta-analysis on different studies. The internship taught Tyler a lot about project management and time management. “I was given a lot of freedom on what I could do because they gave me a couple tasks I could work on, but still what I was doing really mattered,” Tyler said.
KB Young Fine Art
Cal W. ’21 interned at KB Young Fine Art, assisting Katherine B. Young, who was working in the studio on a sculptural project involving 3D printing. He contributed to her new art line, which uses analog-style paintings to create ocean landscapes, and experiments with gold leaf techniques. “I feel so blessed to have had his help this summer and am very grateful to [Nueva’s Internship Program] that connected us,” Young wrote to Saylor. Cal applied his interest in technology to design and test how to convert these works to lenticular printing and 3D printing, which created illusions of waves in motion. Cal enjoyed the professional environment, where he was able to express and test his ideas. PHOTOS BY KATIE SAYLOR
page 13 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A
As we embark upon our third year, defining a purpose gets murky BY THE NUEVA CURRENT STAFF
rguably, a student publication’s most persistent and difficult quandary is deciding with whom its loyalties lie: its school or the art of journalism to which it aspires? An educational institution’s considerations—like school pride, community privacy, and external image—need to be taken into account, and rightly so. Especially in such a visible school as Nueva, these factors’ importance can magnify, launching decisions about the suitability of a story into burning contention. Outside of California, these decisions wouldn’t be as controversial—most states don’t afford private school publications strong free speech protections, allowing school administrators to have final say on what gets printed and what doesn’t. However, since 2007, California public and private school student publications’ freedom of press and speech rights are protected under the Leonard Law, which applies First Amendment rights to all students in educational institutions. However, what could an outlet publish then, ethically, that would invoke that law? In other words, what story
could one publish that would raise red flags among our institution’s administrators, but be important enough to publish anyway? Perhaps there’s no such story. We trust that Nueva’s leaders have the community’s best interests in mind—the reasons for pulling an article would be, in all likelihood, the safety, privacy, or integrity of the community. And this is where the blurry line falls for student journalism; it’s not only the reputation of the newspaper and the staff at stake, but also that of the school and everyone in it. On the other hand, reviewing could quickly turn into something far more autocratic, and it’s important that we resist becoming that other extreme: a heavily censored newsletter, a printed infomercial masquerading as a journalistic outlet. We want to publish nonpartisan facts. We want to challenge and broaden the community’s views, with our stories about racial diversity in private schools, vaping, gun control, controversial branding, and community service culture. Journalism, after all, is about seeking and exploring the truth. Student journalism sits at the tumultuous junction between these two realms; the identity of our publication needs to balance the concerns of the school and the spirit of journalistic integrity.
We have spent our first two years figuring out how to produce a paper. As we embark upon our third, we’re figuring out what it means to be one. Across the globe, student voices have reached the international stage and are working to tackle the biggest issues of our generation—like Greta Thunberg in her fight for climate justice and David Hoggs in his for gun control—and the rise of demagoguery and anti-media sentiment has, according to an Atlantic piece, produced an uptick in national student journalism interest, along with resolve among young journalists themselves. And as the student journalism community has grown in both population and fervor, the purpose of it has evolved rapidly. The place of student journalism is in flux. Students want to hold the powerful accountable; students want to report on the big issues; students want to seek the truth. Sometimes, students don’t see the consequences. For now, what we know is that we seek to inform the community on the important and engaging issues that confront the status quo; we strive to report on impactful stories that are essential to them; and we will make every attempt to publish what is important to our community while protecting those within it.
PHOTO BY JORDAN M.
WE NEED A DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION There are too many dancers at Nueva to not have a dance program BY AMANDA W.
he multipurpose rooms on the first floor are always covered by removable carpet. Unknown to most students, the actual floor of those classrooms has, unlike any other, hardwood flooring—the ideal surface for dance classes. In fact, these rooms were originally built as dance and exercise rooms, fully furnished with mirrors and a ballet barre. But six years after the opening of the Upper School, dance remains one of the only performing arts we’re missing. As a dancer, it is particularly disappointing to see the lack of a dance program. Now that we have expanded the visual arts to include unique electives like Printmaking and Advanced Studio Art, I hope we can expand our performing arts as well and give other artists the same kind of exposure and opportunity. The breadth of electives in each kind of art is vital and allows the students to truly explore what they love and supplement their existing passions. I always walk past empty classrooms with their lights dimmed, waiting for a group of students to sit down and debate some heated topic. But these students instead sit in the multipurpose rooms, rendering it unusable for dance. Moreover, with the addition of the new building, that classroom availability is no longer an issue. One of the most crucial parts of the upper school campus is the new West Wing, which helps to accommodate the recent growth of over 40 students, and is vital to the potential expansion of Nueva’s arts program. Yet despite these projects, the Upper School has yet to yield a dance class. At the end of both my freshman and sophomore years, I was elated to see a dance elective added to the course catalog. I remember applying to Nueva as an eighth grader, the lack of a dance program the only cause of my hesitation. I couldn’t wait to connect my extracurricular life with my in-school experience—I could finally share this beautiful art with more people.
I eagerly placed it at the top of my choice list, but to my disappointment, the class was never run. The school board mandates a minimum of 10 kids to run a course, but it’s important to run classes like dance that could continue the expansion of the arts. Moreover, the future plans for a theater building clearly show the community’s desire to expand the performing arts program. Adding dance classes would continue to expand the arts at Nueva, possibly attracting and cultivating a larger community of artists. A dance program could boost school spirit as well, becoming yet another way for students to build a team, or bring the community together through more performances and events. Additionally, dance could make sports games more interesting to more art-oriented students or parents. At many other schools, the dance team performs during the breaks of sports games. This also shows more support for the student athletes and increases attendance, leading to a more cohesive and encouraging community. There is already a well-established community of musicians at the Upper School and running dance classes could
open more opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Groove Workshop, for example, could partner with the dancers in performances at an all-school meetings or during their lunchtime concerts; dancers could work in tandem with the musical theater class, offering choreographic support. Dance also brings health benefits; it’s a great way to squeeze physical activity into a busy schedule, and is less painful than typical workouts. In dance, balance and coordination
ILLUSTRATION BY THALIA R.
are the foundation for many moves. In many high schools, dance classes can fulfill both athletics and arts requirements, often encouraging non-dancing students to try a new elective. Furthermore, dance can promote and improve the flexibility of athletes, key to injury prevention. The consistent stretching in a dancer’s routine is important for athletes to stay in the best shape. Dancing also targets many muscle groups that many sports don’t utilize. Exercising these oft-abandoned and rarely used muscles helps athletes become the healthiest they can be, improving their overall performance. I, personally, have danced for a long time, so when I picked up track and field last year, my background in dance helped me in agility and picking up specific running forms, as a huge part of dance is emulating the choreographer’s vision of precise moves. Fellow dancer Megan F. ’20, who has been dancing for 15 years, agrees, claiming that it has benefits that extend beyond those that are physical. “Dancing is one of the best forms of expression—it also holds benefits for people’s mental health. In a way, dance is a form of holistic exercise: it allows people to exercise their creativity, memorization, and physical strength,” Megan said. “As a result, people leave dance classes with endorphins circulating throughout their brain and thus have an elevated mood. For some, dance is just a way to get moving, whereas others find dance an alternate way to communicate their feelings when words falter for them.” Creating a dance program should be a prioritized initiative—whether you are an audience member, artist, or athlete, it could improve the overall student life experience for you. As the arts program continues to grow, it needs to include and support dancers in the Upper School.
page 14 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
MASTHEAD THE NUEVA CURRENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE NUEVA SCHOOL 131 E 28TH AVENUE, SAN MATEO, CA 94403
Editor-in-Chief Willow C. Y. Design Editor Jordan M. Managing Editor Isabel C. News & Web Editor Elizabeth B. P. Features Editor Amanda W. Opinion Editor Grace H. Staff Anouschka B. Valerie B. Laura C. Mira D. Grace F. Campbell H. Anisha K. Luke M. Serena S. Eliza S. Abigale W. Eugenia X. Tina Z. Faculty Advisor LiAnn Yim
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THE NUEVA CURRENT
NUEVA SHOULD LIMIT PHONE USAGE TO LUNCHTIME ONLY We should use phones at school with restrictions to prevent rampant cheating and tempting distractions in class STORY BY MIRA D. | ILLUSTRATION BY EUGENIA X.
t approximately 3:21 p.m. on every weekday, the City of San Mateo sees a sudden boost in internet activity as the nearly 2000 students and faculty from San Mateo High School (SMHS) file out of their classes and reunite with their phones. Starting in the 2019 school year, SMHS implemented a no-phones policy in response to the surge in phone usage, specifically for the exorbitant use of social media. Nueva’s tenth grade has had several discussions about the use of phones at school in response to incidents where phones were involved with cheating. While phones play an important role now ingrained into our culture, they inhibit the ability of students to learn as cheating and distractions occur. As the school initiates conversations around regulating phone usage, I think it should consider the benefits phones have in a learning environment. It is a common misconception that students are using their phones for social media or taking pictures but I frequently use my device to check my schedule, look up an unknown word, or check my email for school-related notifications. It is not just students who benefit from having their phones on hand. Many parents rely on their children’s phones for communicating who is on pickup duty after soccer practice or when to drop off the forgotten violin. In addition, phones can prove to be critical if an emergency occurs at home during the hours students are at school. Introverted students and those who might enter an uncomfortable situation also depend on their phones as a source of comfort and support. Allowing students to use their phones throughout school caters to these social groups and those who seek more benefits from digital work. Previously, phones were often a subject ignored because we are immersed in a trusting culture where students enjoy learning and use their phones not because they are bored, but rather for entertainment or communication. While at the Middle School students are restricted from using their phones during school hours and must find a landline in order to make a call, in the Upper School there are no limitations on phone use. Conversely, history teacher Arta Khakpour says that technology can be a “weakness” during class as the internet is an incredible source of information and distractions and can make it hard for students to focus. Khakpour has implemented a generally technology-free policy in his classroom (with some exceptions) and notes that he has seen “greater benefits.” He believes the school would see advantages from experimenting with tech-free days or going on a “tech-fast.” “I would love to see the school try techfree days for students and see how this reduces anxiety and corrodes these distractions as well as the need to use phones,” said Khakpour. “It would definitely be interesting to dip our toes into experimenting with this analog dialogue.” While Khakpour is generally opposed to technology in the classroom, he supports students having the right to use their phone during school for certain types of people and emergencies. Likewise, Davis T. ’22 believes phones should be allowed as long as they don’t take
away from the learning experience or are used for cheating. Davis expresses how it is “comforting” to have his phone with him, and critical if something like an emergency were to occur. On the other hand, he believes text messages or WhatsApp notifications can be extremely distracting, and having your phone during a quiz/test can be detrimental to one’s work performance. Davis feels there should be stronger repercussions for cheating, such as removing a student’s phone privileges or affecting their grade/template. He also stresses that teachers should closely monitor phones because people can often not restrain themselves and exploit their privileges. “We need to establish a precedent that will encourage students to not use their
As the school struggles with a new culture of cheating, I think it should consider what role phones play in it phones as much so then students will not abuse the rules,” Davis said. Davis supports his fellow students in having their phones but hopes to see a reduction in phone usage during class and for dishonest reasons. I also believe that this would be beneficial for the school environment. Dean of Student Life Hillary Freeman believes phones should be used at school, but it is a necessity to teach people how to use them appropriately. “Nueva is built on the foundation of trust between students and I emphasize the importance of phones mainly for the use of Kahoots or surveys during assemblies/meetings and as a method of taking pictures on school trips,” Freeman said. To prevent further cheating epidemics and frequent distractions, I believe students should only be permitted to use their phones during lunch time and after school, with few exceptions. Similarly, I hope our school can find a balance between a certain amount of phone usage that is not disruptive or distracting and times without the need for technology. I often take the autonomy we are given with our phones for granted and am blind to the privileges we have. I hope that students can recognize the advantages and disadvantages to this controversial topic and understand the decisions and reasoning for phone usage at school.
page 15 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
I CAN’T SUPPORT HONG KONG’S PROTESTS Hypocrisy and violence defeated the purpose of the city’s “pro-democracy” protests
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE W.
BY JORDAN M.
ro-democracy” is the most common word I’ve seen describing the protests, but I think it should be “anti-China.” I believe in peaceful protests and democracy, but Hong Kong has taken the movement too far. No longer is this a fight for freedom; instead, this movement has become focused solely on erasing Beijing’s influence from Hong Kong. Many protestors have said that the only way to make the government listen is to shut down the city. To do this, they have destroyed public spaces and MTR stations—causing systems to shut down not because of strikes but because the machines’ computer systems were totaled. Furthermore, there remains almost no democratic aspect to this movement. In the beginning, peaceful protests and demonstrations were employed to fight the controversial extradition bill, which was seen as an infringement by the Chinese government on the freedoms of Hong Kong citizens. Within three months, the protests have devolved into violent and chaotic riots. The demonstrators are now physically and verbally silencing others when they hold a perspective that isn’t in line with the “pro-democracy” movement—an ironic strategy considering that they are fighting for their own freedom of speech. One of the five core demands made by the activists is for the unconditional release of all arrested protestors. If this happened, it would show that Hong Kong’s legal and judicial systems no
longer have any power. Some of the arrested activists have been involved in attacks on police, vandalizing the Legislative Council building, and destroying public property—all of which are real crimes which should have consequences. Protestors don’t want the Chinese government circumventing the law to kidnap activists, yet seemingly want free rein to break it. If these activists—representing the entire movement at the front lines— truly believe that destruction, crime, and censorship can be justified because of a “righteous” cause, this movement has lost its meaning and its way in finding a truly democratic society. To many protestors, you are either pro-democracy or pro-government; there is no in between. But what they don’t realize is that many people support beliefs on both sides. Like me, many support the cause and purpose of the movements but not the violence that is being used. There may not be a perfect answer to every problem we face as individuals, as citizens, and as nations, but if we are able to see past labels like “pro-government” and “pro-protestor” or “Democrat” and “Republican,” there is at least a chance we can work in a nonpartisan fashion to resolve conflict and reach understandings of each others’ goals, intentions, motivations, and experiences. And, along with that, it could help the protesters figure out whether they’re calling for democracy or just wanting to start a fight.
HONG KONG PROTESTS BY THE NUMBERS
17 WEEKS of protests have taken place, starting with the anti-extradition bill movement and later calling for an investigation into police brutality
million people were at a rally on August 18 which was held to protest police brutality
THREE REASONS WHY I DON'T LIKE JUST MERCY While compelling in its message, this book shouldn’t have been mandatory summer reading BY GABI B., GUEST WRITER
Despite having a powerful message and a clearly knowledgeable author, the book does not make a compelling required summer reading text.
his year for summer reading, the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades were assigned to read Just Mercy by lawyer Bryan Stevenson. The book explores the issues with the American criminal justice system through the lens of various cases that the author has worked on over the course of his career. However, despite its powerful message and clearly knowledgeable author, the book does not make a compelling required summer reading text for more than a couple reasons. Firstly, the book explains the many different flaws in the legal system that Stevenson has encountered over his career, which means that the book is trying to tackle a lot of different themes in a relatively short text while remaining accessible to a general audience. This need to cover so much ground leads to the text trying to get through as much information as possible, and sometimes relying on jargon and references to various legal cases and practices that go over the head of a casual reader. As it was a summer reading text and thus assigned to many students with a variety of interests, there were some who were not able to fully understand the text due to its legal jargon and failure to provide sufficient context. Secondly, the way that the book is structured makes it difficult for the book to be read over the course of a summer. Stevenson switches back and forth between
describing the various groups victimized by the legal system and the story of Walter McMillian, a wrongly accused man who was placed on death row. This framing of the story could lead to a disjointed read if a student were to decide to read the book spread across the summer instead of reading the entire thing within a short period of time. By stretching out the story throughout the summer, the student risks losing the thread of the McMillian case due to Stevenson’s frequent digressions. Lastly, one of the main themes of the text was the racial bias present in both the criminal justice system as a whole and on death row. However, most of the big points that the text makes for attempted shock value and were also covered the the documentary “13th,” which all students watched and discussed last year. Because the text tries to use these facts for impact or to gain additional engagement from the readers, it could leave some students feeling as though they already knew what Stevenson was trying to teach them, making the book a redundant experience. None of these things make it a bad book, and in fact I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone who is interested in the American legal system and civil rights. However, these points add up to it not being a productive, enjoyable summer read.
page 16 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
THE NUEVA CURRENT
Think you got the right answers? Send a photo to us! You are allowed one submission per issue, and will earn an entry into our raffle at the end of the year.
BY WILLOW C. Y.
ACROSS 1. "____________ that excites." 7. Host of 2028 Summer Olympics 8. Medieval beer 9. Submissions to college, for short 12. Where NASA plans to send a helicopter 14. Spanish for "other," feminine 16. 8-Across' reverse 17. Small Mediterranean Island from which a small dog gets its name 19. Traditional Homecoming sport 21. Alien that wants to phone home 22. Give this where this is due, abbr. 23. Adviser 27. Site of Boer Wars, with "Republic," abbr. 28. Reed of the Velvet Underground 30. Nueva's year-long passion project 31. Student Council members, for short
DOWN 1. Where Nueva's mech-engineering machines reside 2. Siesta, in English 3. East Coast state containing Richmond and Jamestown 4. College you once attended 5. Beverage in the Café for students 6. Staff team in charge of facility use 10. Both a sport and shirt 11. "Immediately," in Latin, for short 13. Check attendance, with "take" 15. After STEM or Clubs, maybe 16. ____________ ipso, meaning "thereby" in Latin 18. Disgraced Franken of the U.S. Senate 19. Robotics league 20. Studded 22. Trim a photo or hair 24. Midwest University of Michigan football rival, abbr. 25. Persian Gulf country that uses the dirham, abbr. 26. Old, informally 29. Division of which Stephen Dunn is the head, abbr.
BY ISABEL C.
BY EUGENIA X.
TIPS FOR SURVIVING
FRESHMAN YEAR BY CAMPBELL H.
As freshmen head into their first semester, it can be difficult to navigate the classes, campus, and increased workload. Here’s a list of tried and true strategies and words of wisdom from older students that might help new students succeed in the fast-paced Nueva environment.
“I would recommend playing a sport freshman year. Since you don’t have grades, you have more time to do after-school sports and explore your interests.” —Noah V. H. ’21
“Join more clubs and get more involved. I was really shy, but freshman year is a great year to do those things, and if you don’t enjoy it you can always drop it.” —Sian B. ’21
“I wish I had known how easy it is to utilize teachers outside of classes. I think I was a little timid to ask for help.” —Gabriel M. ’20
“You have a lot of wiggle room. Use that so you develop good habits that you can carry on to later years. Freshman year is your year to figure everything out.” —Trevor G. ’21
ENTERTAINMENT HOW TO USE THE NEW PANINI PRESSES Here are three things to try with the new machines in the Café BY AMANDA W.
fter several months of planning and negotiations with the administration, Student Council, and maintenance and kitchen staff, Cal W. ’21 finally brought two panini presses for the community to use in the Café. This versatile kitchen appliance can help students and faculty whip up many tasty snacks and treats. These recipes can hopefully inspire you to create some delicious meals in the comfort of the Café using some unconventional panini press recipes. The panini press, partnered with the salad bar, can provide so many delicious meals at school. Use your creativity, let the panini press works its magic, and you can spice up any dish at school.
Use the existing sandwich and salad bar—which is filled with an enticing array of vegetables, meats, and delicious cheeses—to build amazing paninis. Butter up the outside faces of the bread and fill with the toppings you desire. Pile on a couple slices of roast turkey, two squares of cheese, throw in some lettuce, place it on the grill, and watch the press do all the work. When the corners of the cheese melt down over the edge of the toasted bread with the most perfect grill marks, you will know your panini is finished. With the abundant options available in the salad bar, you will have endless possibilities for your panini.
GRILLED FRUIT GRILLED VEGGIES
Grilling is a tasty way to spice up the plain, boring vegetables. Using the salad bar, take any veggies of your choice and it’s as simple as placing it in the press and closing the top half. Grab some cherry tomatoes and grill them to top off a fresh salad. On pasta days, take some mushrooms, toss them in the panini press, and use them as a garnish.
The fruit in both the salad bar and baskets are popular snacks of the Café and can be spiced up with the addition of the panini press. Take some watermelon or pineapple and grill it in the panini press for a slightly charred flavor. Slice some peaches or apples for another option of grilled fruit. Eat these delicious treats on their own, or throw them on top of yogurt for an elevated parfait. You could even top off your locker oatmeal, cereal, or cookies with this touch of sweetness.
BY EUGENIA X.
SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BRING PANINI PRESSES TO THE SAN MATEO CAMPUS? I wanted to provide the community with a platform—a hot platform, to heat their sandwiches on. WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF GETTING THESE PANINI PRESSES? HOW DID YOU GET THEM HERE? It was very difficult, actually. It took months to get the request processed and even longer to get results. Student Council, admin, and the Café staff all had to be on the same page, so coordinating all the moving parts was an ordeal. The request itself was an extensive report on how the panini press would happen and had to be presented to Student Council on multiple occasions. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO MAKE WITH THE PANINI PRESSES? I like to make a solid panini with whatever looks good on the sandwich bar. Tomatoes and turkey and cheese plus some mustard is a decent combo.
PHOTO BY JORDAN M.
PHOTO BY ASNIM ASNIM / UNSPLASH
VSCO GIRL AESTHETIC
17 QUESTIONS WITH A SENIOR Want to be featured in our next issue? Send us an email at email@example.com.
PIPER H. MEMORABLE TEACHER QUOTE “I’m getting extremely frat-house-y vibes from my brethren of the Y chromosome today.” —Arta Khakpour
BIRTHDAY January 6, 2002 ZODIAC Capricorn FAVORITE COLOR Green THEME SONG “Bartier Cardi” – Cardi B BEST MEMORY AT NUEVA Charleston trip FAVORITE NUEVA LUNCH Chicken and rice FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS WRC or the gym FAVORITE CLASS Creature Comforts and International Relations
MOST VALUABLE NUEVA EXPERIENCE The forever friends and amazing teachers FAVORITE NETFLIX SHOW “The Office” FAVORITE SOUND My dog when I get home FAVORITE CANDY Rainbow sour strips FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR Cookies and cream FAVORITE SHOE BRAND Nike FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TOY Elephant stuffed animal
PERSPICACIOUS INDEPENDENT PLAYFUL EBULLIENT ROLLICKING
page 18 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
THE NUEVA CURRENT
FIRST GIRLS TENNIS TEAM DOMINATES IN PRACTICE AND ON THE COURT
With a team of 19, the Mavericks started off their first season with back-to-back wins BY ISABEL C.
TOP | Eleanor M. '21 gets ready to toss the tennis ball and serve it to her opponent on Drew School's team. BOTTOM | Mira D. '22 returns the ball after receiving a smash from her opponent. PHOTOS BY LIANN YIM
he inaugural season of the girls tennis team started off smoothly with a 4-1 win against Drew School on Sept. 4. Two days later, they secured a 6-1 win against Mercy Burlingame. Their strong opening combined with their freshness as a team has proved the team a force to be reckoned with. This is the first year that the Upper School has had a girls tennis team; previously, any girls that wanted to play for the school would train with the boys team and would compete as alternates in the spring sports season. Now, after interest from parents and the athletics team, girls who want to play tennis have a team of their own. “It’s going really, really well,” said Chris Wade, Director of Athletics. “I think there’s some really good energy around the sport.” Lead by head coach Coltrane Hunt, who teaches mathematics at the Upper School, and assistant coach Jennifer Perry, who works as a teacher in the WRC and as a writing teacher in the Middle School, the team has 19 players from three different grades. The tennis team is currently in the West Bay Athletic League. The addition of a girls team has brought support and interest from multiple grades. Mia G. ‘23,
who’s been playing recreationally and with friends for the past four years and says she’s an intermediate-level player, said that the addition of a girls tennis team drew her to Nueva. “I remember that was one of the reasons I wanted to come here,” Mia said. For Eleanor M. ’21, the option of the new team pushed her to join. After playing competitively in middle school but stopping going into high school, the team provided her an opportunity to rejoin the sport. “I wasn’t aware that there was a possibility that there could be a team,” said Eleanor, who describes herself as an advanced player. “I knew that we could practice with the boys team but if I wasn’t going to be able to play matches I wasn’t really interested. But when the idea was brought up for this fall, that’s when I started really wanting to be involved.” The team boasts players from the freshmen, sophomore, and junior classes and a wide range of playing experience. Mia said she enjoys being on a team with multiple grades as it has given her opportunities to gain experience as a tennis player. “I like it,” Mia said. “I know for a fact sometimes upperclassmen are better than you depending on how long they've been playing
tennis. But it's also a good way for me to get to know my upperclassmen.” Mel C. ’22 agrees. Mel has been playing tennis on and off since age 3 and finds playing with classmates an enjoyable experience. “It has the advantage of playing with people that I know are going to be respectful and honest,” Mel said. “It just feels like I’m hanging out with my friends.” Going into the first two games against Drew School and Mercy Burlingame, thoughts were hopeful and supportive. Mel said that after each scored point while playing doubles with freshman Alexa W. against Drew, they high fived as a way to support each other. After the games, many were surprised at the results. “It was a very good feeling,” Mia said about the game against Mercy. “I was very excited because it was the first match that I played for Nueva. It made me feel very proud about myself and that I was capable.” Despite the wins, there’s still lots to work on. Hunt, who has played tennis for the past 24 years and trained under the previous Stanford Men’s tennis coach Dick Gould, said the team is focused on consistency, communication, and community and has a goal to
VARSITY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL STARTS OFF UNDEFEATED Varsity team full of returning girls hopes to continue the winning streak STORY BY ELIZA S. | PHOTOS BY JORDAN M.
BY THE NUMBERS BY SERENA S. & TINA Z.
his year’s volleyball season started off on Sept. 5 with a decisive win against Eastside College Prep 25-3 in one set during the home spirit game. A week later, they defeated Design Tech, beating them 25-2 in one set. Coached by Janelle Burnett, who’s worked with the team for five years and previously played volleyball herself, the team had a largely undefeated start to the season. The varsity girls volleyball team is led by captain Piper H. ’20 and Paige M. ’21. The team has two seniors, three juniors, four sophomores, and one freshman. With a total of 10 players stretching across all four grades, the varsity volleyball team has only one new recruit this year. The team roster is the same as last year with the addition of Isabella Y.’23, who brings previous experience to the team. “Isabella is a great addition. She plays highlevel club, so she just fits right in,” Burnett said. Isabella said the season has been amazing, and that she’s learned a lot. “It’s been a really great season so far even though it’s only my first year playing. I’ve already had such a great time with the team,” Isabella said. Since the team is mostly returning players, the varsity girls already have a bond. “Our team already has amazing chemistry,” said Paige, who has been playing varsity since freshman year. This connection is also observed by Coach Burnett. “They all know each other very well,” Burnett said. Additionally, players are also working on other skills that can help them in the future, even off the court. “It’s mostly just me working on my leadership skills, which is a good opportunity for me because I’m normally very quiet,” Paige said.
improve. The team trains three times a week at the Broadway Tennis Bay Club, working on skills to improve their game. “With the team this year, they’ve been really responsive,” Hunt said. “They’ve taken a lot of pride in the team, which I’ve appreciated. It’s that mentality that we’re able to not just play for each other, but play with purpose.” Perry, who’s played for 10 years and initially coached at the Middle School, emphasizes communication skills for the players. “I would like our communication skills to be so strong,” Perry said, “that even if you’ve never had a chance to play with someone before, you’re on a doubles court with them, and you’re ready to go.” Going into the future, Perry hopes to foster an enjoyment of the game for all players. “Ideally our students fall even more in love with the sport and so they’re playing a lot between now and next year,” Perry said. “For the love of the game.” Their next match is scheduled for October 2 against Mercy San Francisco.
TOP | Willow C. Y. '21 serves the ball overhand to her opponents from Eastside College Prep in a game that ended with Nueva winning three sets in a row. BOTTOM | Fiona T. '22 receives the ball after it was bumped over by an opponent from Eastside College Prep. PHOTOS BY JORDAN M.
The varsity volleyball team is also inspiring for JV and younger volleyball players. Kayla H. ’23 says watching the varsity team makes her want to become a better player. “Watching the varsity volleyball game makes me excited about the future of Nueva volleyball,” Kayla said. JV player Calder B. ’23 agrees. “Watching the varsity makes me want to play better so I can play with them someday,” Calder said. “It just makes me so excited to watch them and think I have the chance to be that talented.” The varsity volleyball team stands in third behind Summit Shasta and University Prep Academy in the PSAL Volleyball standings. This year, the team’s biggest competitor is Summit Shasta, a public high school in Daly City, against whom they lost in a five-game match on Sept. 24. They are currently in fifth place behind Summit Shasta, Kehillah, Crystal Springs Uplands, Downtown College Prep, and Latino College Preparatory Academy, in the overall Central Coast Section (CCS) Division 5 standings—which means they still face better teams ahead in the season. After their two wins and one loss, the varsity volleyball team is striving to get better to become first place overall and practices every day after school from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., strategizing, practicing, and conditioning. “I look forward to practice most days because it’s a chance for us to get better, and it’s usually pretty fun,” Paige said. This year, the volleyball team is playing in the MaxPreps conference, which Burnett described as a “much tougher conference than last year.” Even with the extra challenge of the tougher conference, the team is still dominating most games in and out of the league. The next varsity game is Oct. 1 at Junipero Serra High School against Mercy Burlingame.
of Upper School students are participating in a sport over the course of the year
students on the cross country team
students take the after-school yoga class
students are taking the after-school conditioning class
US volleyball team in Stockton tournament with 96 other teams
page 19 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
CROSS-COUNTRY TEAMS DELIVER IN SEASON OPENERS Runners start season with solid performances at invitationals and PSAL meet STORY BY AMANDA W. | PHOTOS BY JOY FENG
very year, the cross-country team is known to dominate the PSAL. As the largest sports team with 55 students, there are always plenty of talented runners, and this year is no exception, especially with the continued leadership from coach Robert Lopez and assistant coach Samantha Huff, who is also a math teacher. The team has run three meets so far, proving their potential in the upcoming season. “This year we have a really big team and a team that’s coming out every day and being really consistent about putting in the hard work,” Huff said. “Come November, when we’re heading off to championships, we’re going to be ready.” The team headed up to Golden Gate Park for the first meet of the season on Sept. 7, racing in the Lowell Invitational, a course over two miles “littered with pots of mud” and shrouded in fog in the “classic San Francisco fashion,” as varsity runner Sebastian S. ’21 put it. As a small school running in invitationals with typically larger schools, the teams had an immediate disadvantage, simply due to team size. Nonetheless, the runners demonstrated their speed across all the divisions. The boys freshman team, running the 2.13-mile course, placed fifth, with runners placing as high as sixth out of 225 total runners from all over Northern California. Both the boys varsity team and the girls varsity team ran the 2.93-mile course, placing twentieth and sixth respectively. The girls varsity team had all runners place in the first 88, with the fastest runner, Hanna Z. ’20, coming in eleventh. Even
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS | JV runners Peter C. '23, Dominic L. '23, and Joshua E. '22 run tightly in a pack around the curve, leading not only the Nueva JV team, but also the entire race by over one minute.
TOP | Anna I. M. '22, Alyssa H. '22, Maddie P. '20, Callisto L. '22, Hanna Z. '20, and Vienna G. '21 cheer on the varsity boys as they breeze past on the dusty trails at the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course. BOTTOM | Coach Robert Lopez gives a pep talk to the varsity boys team as they prepare to start their 2.95-mile-long run; the varsity boys team consists of Sebastian S. '21, Emerson L. '22, Dylan T. '20, Luciano M. '20, Joshua B. '23, Chris M. '20, Davis T. '22
though there weren’t enough runners to form full JV teams, the individual runners still represented Nueva with strength, beating personal records and setting the precedent for the rest of the season. “Lowell was…our first time running as this varsity team specifically. We were able to come together and see how we perform in a race and we hadn’t done that before,” Hanna said. “I think we all…ran really well together, so that brought us closer as a team and helped us in our training afterwards.” Huff echoes this, saying the girls team, “a smaller team, but very mighty,” could go really far. “They’re actually ranked sixth in the state, and we have some new faces that that doesn’t even account for either, so the girls team is
actually positioned to podium at state, if all goes well,” Huff said. At the Ed Sias Invitational in Martinez, California one week later, compared to other schools, the tiny-but-mighty team exhibited their talent yet again. Specifically, all the frosh-soph girls were able to place in the first 50, with the JV boys team placing 21st overall. The boys varsity team did particularly well, placing seventh overall, with all its runners placing in the top 100. “We have a lot of depth, so we have strength on both the varsity and JV team,” Huff said. “We have a really strong contingent of freshmen boys, and they’re able to run really well together and run as a pack, and so they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
In their home course of the 2.95-mile Crystal Springs cross-country course, the team dominated once again, following the ongoing trend of the last several years, with a clean sweep. All three teams, JV boys, varsity boys, and varsity girls won their divisions, upholding the undefeated record the team is known for. The varsity girls runners placed one through seven, with the top five helping them score a perfect 15 points—an incredible feat showcasing not only the talent but also the teamwork of these star athletes. The JV boys scored a near-perfect 17, taking the first three places, as well as fifth through twelfth. The varsity boys scored 24 points, a score no less impressive, taking second place, as well as fourth through eighth. “This is the first time the Nueva varsity girls have scored a perfect fifteen in a while. It was really empowering, because even though we lost a lot of our really good runners, we were able to succeed,” said varsity runner Vienna G. ’21. “It was just a great start to the season.” The JV girls, however, were nonscoring, due to the lack of runners, and thus an inability to create a full team. Despite this, the three runners, Julia W. ’23 and sophomores Carissa W. and Sophia Y., delivered in their performances, taking second, sixth, and seventh, respectively. “This was my first-ever cross-country meet, but it was kind of intimidating because it was just the three of us Nueva girls running. But overall, it was very rewarding,” Sophia said. “I hope that there can be more JV girls runners in the future—it’s a great bonding experience and we can suffer together! It would also be nice to score as a team!” As the season continues, the team is going to do everything they can do to be successful, especially being a team outside of practice, as they work towards yet another PSAL championship.
GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS SHOOT FOR A JV TEAM Student athletes take initiative and work with school to expand the basketball program BY ANISHA K.
ast year’s varsity girls basketball team was a close-knit group of 12 athletes. They bonded on and off the court, even organizing a Secret Santa-esque sock exchange among players. This year, their ranks have swelled to 18, and they’re advocating for the addition of a JV team to accommodate the influx of interested students, raising concerns about skill level and a crowded bench. “It’s not feasible to have everybody on one team, especially in harder games, where only seven or eight kids play,” Alice E. ’20 said. “For the kids who don’t have a lot of playing time, they won’t actually get better.” Alice is the varsity girls basketball team captain and Athletics Representative, and has played basketball with Nueva for the past three years. She has been PHOTO BY JORDAN M. meeting with Chris Wade, Director of Athletics, for the last month to talk about the
formation of the team. Alice sees the addition of a JV team as a way to add stratification and accommodate the variance in skill level. “With just one team for everyone, we’re not really having a cohesive practice where everyone is doing the same thing,” Alice said. “The coach might assign some of us harder drills to do separately…It’s mostly the higher-level players who want to get better, and that’s where the dissatisfaction is.” A new JV or developmental team would offer the chance for students with less experience to practice and hone their craft without the pressures of varsity. Reflecting on the past season, Emma M. ’22 wished a JV team could have been an option in her freshman year. “I can speak firsthand to the stress of being thrown out onto the varsity court with relatively little playing experience,” she said. “Having a JV team would have eased my transition to varsity.” Anya P. ’22, another returning team member, agreed. “It’s intimidating being on the court that first year,” she said. The challenges in creating any
team, according to Wade, arise from commitment. In order to kickstart the process of building a new team—which includes hiring a new coach, negotiating practice time and space, communicating with other schools, and planning transportation—Wade and the coaches need to be sure that the team’s numbers won’t dwindle within the first few weeks, so they can commit to facilities arrangements. Additionally, within Nueva’s division, only two other schools are sponsoring JV teams: Castilleja and Summit Shasta. The former is also feeling out commitment, said Wade. Members of the team are slightly frustrated due to the slow pace. “While I recognize that there is some add and drop that occurs around the start of sports seasons,” Emma said, “I find it frustrating that Nueva would choose to not push to make a girls JV team because they expect that girls won’t show.” The team had been vocal from the start, reaching out to their coach and Wade with their ideas, but were disappointed with the speed of the process and the lack of information. Anya recalled an instance in which the girls team was accidentally left out of team photos, and it was up to the students to secure their spot on a yearbook page along with the boys. According to Anya, few of
the athletes felt “confident enough to go and get what we need.” “I think Alice, as one of our team captains, has really been pushing us to speak up for what we want,” Anya said. Alice acknowledged that the athletics department has welcomed the students’ self-advocacy and have been “very open to talking about everything.” “I want to apologize for the misunderstanding of slowing down and making the process more pragmatic,” Wade said. “I know we are in a can-do community, but since we have time, it’s better to stop, look, evaluate, and then go through with it.” Wade explained how the slower, more thoughtful approach reflected Nueva’s vision for the athletics department, and how he wanted to be able to accommodate everyone. “The goal is for us to find a place for every student interested in athletics… this extra stratification will really help our program out,” Wade said. This coming season, there are two games confirmed for the new girls JV/ developmental basketball team. The goal is to have a 7-10 game schedule locked down by the time the season starts.
page 20 SEPT. 30, 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1
THE NUEVA CURRENT
LOCAL SPORTS MEDIA FADES AWAY A look at the lack of nuanced sports journalism in the digital age BY MIRIELLE W., GUEST COLUMNIST
oday, sports news is instant. The news of quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees’ injuries comes via a Twitter alert. Andrew Luck’s retirement broke on Twitter during a Colts-Bears preseason game, shocking fans and players alike. Social media and the digital age have been game-changing for sports and are fantastic for short announcements and the casual fan who follows a league as a whole. However, in-depth sports coverage geared toward the serious local fan has suffered greatly. More and more, sports media coverage is written for a national audience. “The newspaper model is getting torn to shreds,” wrote longtime Bay Area sportswriter Tim Kawakami when explaining why he left the Mercury News. This is leading local newspapers to shrink the sports section or cut it altogether. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly hard to find coverage that acknowledges the nuanced history of each team and understands the specific emotional rollercoaster that comes with being a longtime fan. The 2017 layoffs of hundreds of prominent journalists, anchors, and on-air personalities at ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports continues to affect the diversity of opinion that appears on these companies’ platforms. Today, the same shallow storylines resound in an echo chamber of big sports media. There’s the shock over the 49ers’ 3-0 start, the requisite veneration of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s coaching ability, and the frustration over the Pac-12’s ongoing media issues (though the latter is admittedly deserved). Meanwhile, the growing San Francisco-based startup that hired many of those and other exiled journalists, the Athletic,
has attempted to fill the void left by shrinking sports sections around the country. In the words of co-founder Alex Mather, “Our ambition is to be the local sports page for every city in the country.” Based on a subscription model, the Athletic has openly poached sportswriters from local papers, often offering a promotion in the process. However, this model is not without its flaws—the aforementioned Tim Kawakami wrote 70 stories for the Mercury News from May 1 to June 30 in 2017, but only wrote 34 articles for the Athletic in the equivalent time period this year, as his duties as editor-in-chief of the Athletic Bay Area take time away from pure sportswriting. In addition, there’s no escaping the fact that the Athletic is still a national media company, concerned with serving subscribers from coast to coast. Despite all claims to the contrary, the Athletic does sometimes run articles that play to a national audience on their “local” feeds. And with a national talent pool to draw from, younger sports journalists are moved between cities as regional subscriber numbers require, meaning that those journalists don’t necessarily understand the subtleties of their new audience. There isn’t an easy answer to the lack of sports journalism that understands its specific local audience. There are partial solutions that can work, when put together—indepth articles like the Athletic’s, combined with perusals of Twitter opinions from fellow fans, and just a dash of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB weekly column, not to mention the requisite streaming platform for live games. But that’s a long recipe. More innovation is needed in order to combine the positives of data analytics and instant news updates with the lost sportswriting nuance. Something that puts everything together would be welcomed with open arms by the sports world.
A GAME OF THE PAST?
What Andrew Luck’s retirement signals about the future of football BY LUKE M., GUEST WRITER
t the end of the third preseason game of the 2019 season versus the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was endlessly booed as he walked off the field and into the locker room. It was just announced on Twitter that Luck, who did not even suit up for the game due to his high ankle injury, would be retiring from football. Colts fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium showed their resentment towards Luck, a reaction that differed from many of the NFL’s players, coaches, and pundits. The former Stanford player is only 29 years old, the prime age in a football player’s career, but has been plagued by a plethora of injuries throughout his career in the NFL that led to his early and unexpected retirement. The Colt’s quarterback had the second-best odds to win the MVP award this season. Luck’s retirement appears to be the start of a trend, as other prominent players, such as Rob Gronkowski, are retiring earlier as well. Additionally, as young players are retiring earlier, youth participa-
tion in tackle football has been on the decline, in part due to lawmakers’ efforts to prevent the sport among minors. Although Luck’s retirement came as a shock to almost all, it is quite understandable that due to his injuries the seven-year veteran quarterback would step down from football; his long list of injuries—including a partially torn abdomen, torn cartilage in two ribs, a torn labrum, at least one concussion, a lacerated kidney, and an unknown high ankle injury—also serves as a warning against football’s aggression. Once thought to be one of the sport’s best aspects, the physically gruelling aspect now deters many young athletes from even stepping onto the field, let alone returning for season after season. The decline in football participation is not in a freefall but it is worth noticing. According to the National Federation of High School Association (NFHS), High school football participation is down 3% from the 2017–2018 season to the 2018–2019 season. Participation is also at the lowest level since the 1999–2000 high school football season. While the
decline in youth football participation could be due to a number of reasons, the only new factor is recent evidence presented in the past five years about the dangers of football injuries, specifically concussions, not only prompting players to stop playing but also causing lawmakers to take action. Just in the last few years, six states have proposed measures which would ban or limit tackle football for players of a certain age. None
of these bills passed; however, this past July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that limited time of contact practices and added safety precautions such as having medical professionals present at games. Even though technique and technology are evolving, making the game safer, the culture and the way football is viewed by society is changing. This change is more noticeable in the NFL yet it is even more important in high school and youth football. The overall decrease in the number of total athletes playing football is a sign of the sinking future of America’s most popular sport. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED