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Arrow 100 Lakeview Canyon Rd. Westlake Village, CA 91362 Volume XLVI Issue 3 February 2, 2021

2020 protests give Black

History Month a special meaning page 9

PTA Arts Reflections winners pages 4-5

Entertainment adjusts to COVID–19 page 11

Changes to CVUSD literature pages 14-15

In this issue

3 8 16 17

CVUSD suspends schools from reopening Valentine’s Day at a safe distance The best way to cook an egg COVID–19's impact on the NFL playoffs

Our staff

editors–in–chief songhee lee, lauren pak & lindsey romano web editors–in–chief kyra berg & abigail thompson news section editors angela ling & allan tieu news page editor olivia delgrosso feature section editor soumya monga feature page editor vivian stein A & E section editor abigail thompson A & E page editor sophia haines opinion section editor sophie robson

opinion page editor harrison weinberg sports section editor owen kobett sports page editor makenna norman graphics editor angela ling

Letter to our readers Dear Warriors, It’s been a whole winter break and a semester change since we wrote to you last. You have probably been bombarded with political drama, health updates and academic studies, which is why we’re here to break up the monotony and focus on loving yourself — in light of Valentine’s day. Navigating the season of love may look a little different after the events of the past year, so we challenge you to focus on the love in your life, starting with yourself. In a year where we have been so isolated and away from human interaction, it can be difficult to find the motivation within ourselves to complete everyday tasks, much less set mental health breaks and pampering time aside for ourselves. But we’re here to guide you through this journey of self love, hopefully transforming you from a hopeless romantic to a confident individual. The common stigma with Valentine’s Day is that it has to be spent with boxes of heart–shaped chocolates, dozens of red roses and your significant other. But in a year of such mental turmoil, shifting the typical Valentine’s Day image to one of self care and love is more important than ever. You may ask: What are some ways you could possibly make Valentine’s Day enjoyable while quarantined at home? There are many things that can be done to mark the occasion and take the time to focus on yourself. For the movie watcher, maybe you binge all the romantic classics with your favorite movie snack. Foodies could spend their day making the most delicious heart-shaped treats. For the beauty guru, the day could be made into a spa day, pampering yourself. For the couch potato, take some time to meditate and listen to some music as you go about your day. And for the teacher’s pet, consider cutting study time a little shorter and try baking a cake or taking a walk outside. But this advice shouldn’t just be applied for Valentine’s Day; it should be taken year–round. Freshman, you still have three–and–a–half years, sophomores, two–and–a–half years and juniors, one–and–a–half years of high school filled with homework, quizzes, AP tests and friend drama, not to mention the trap that is senioritis. Instead of burning yourself out with no breaks (like we have done), experiment and learn how to balance your life. Mental health problems have been showing up in high numbers this year, so what is more important than something any rose or chocolate box a significant other could provide is taking the time to realize the love within yourself. Maybe even buy yourself that rose or that chocolate box. Who’s stopping you? As always, we want our publication to represent the voices of the student body, so feel free to share your ideas or concerns with us at westlakearrow@gmail.com. Signing off, Songhee Lee, Lauren Pak & Lindsey Romano The Editor Team 2020-21

photo editor alyssa rice business manager margaret teegarden adviser karie lynch

The Arrow is written, designed and run by the students of the Advanced Journalism and Journalism 1 CP classes at Westlake High School. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the Conejo Valley Unified School District, Westlake High School administration, faculty or student body. We welcome feedback. Letters must be signed by the writer. Cover design by Lindsey Romano

CVUSD suspends school reopening Ventura County COVID–19 fast facts* Seven day case rate is at






Seven day PCR


testing positivity rate

tests in the

is at

past 14 days


Source: venturacountyrecovers.org

total cases

73,374 vaccine doses administered

*last updated Feb. 1 GRAPHIC BY ANGELA LING

Students are continuing in remote learning after the California Department of Public Health released new guidelines on in–person learning and school's reopening. by angela ling graphics & co–news section editor On Jan. 14, the California Department of Public Health released a directive on school reopenings for the 2020–21 school year, suspending CVUSD schools' plans for blended learning students to return to campus on Jan. 19. "This is an extremely hard message to write as I know we have many high school students and families eager to return to in–person instruction," wrote CVUSD Superintendent Dr. Mark McLaughlin in an email to announce the new changes. WHS implemented many changes in preparation for students' return such as setting up sanitation stations, rearranging desks to be socially distanced and painting arrows to guide the traffic flow around campus. Counselors also had to make last–minute schedule adjustments as many students requested schedule and model changes in the weeks leading up to the return date. The sudden change is because of the CDPH directive's new definition of "open." In order for a school to be considered open and allowed to remain open in the Purple Tier — when there are more than seven new cases daily per 100,000 in the county — all students in at least one grade level had to have been given the option to return to campus. "I was disappointed," said Principal Jason Branham. "We were so close to figuring out what our new normal is going to be, so it was sad because we had a lot of good plans in place, but unfortunately it’s one of those things that’s out of our control." Although WHS had students back on campus as part of the Return to Campus Pilot Program where blended students in certain classes were in–person, not all students in one grade level were offered the chance to return to campus, so WHS was not considered open and therefore is

not permitted to bring more students on campus while Ventura County is in the Purple Tier. Though this news was saddening for blended learning student Saivee Ahuja ‘22, it was also expected. "I was looking forward to the change of pace [of returning to school], so it was definitely kind of disappointing, but at the same time it’s good that we’re not going back because it’s definitely not the right time," said Ahuja. Students have been learning remotely for nearly 11 months, but those like Ahuja would have appreciated the "sense of normalcy" that attending in–person school would bring. Students have also missed out on other “normal school” experiences. "Our kids have been through so much since last March 13 … whether it be our seniors not having their typical senior year [or] our incoming freshmen that have never been able to set foot on the WHS campus at all," said Branham. However, remote learning has advantages to it as well. For example, since classes only take two–and–a–half hours each day, students can finish their homework earlier and use the extra time to pursue other interests. "I’ve gotten a lot of time to paint which is really nice because even though school can be busy, [the shortened school hours allow for] a nice break from everything," said Ahuja. "Besides painting, I [also] love to cook … I’ve been getting into cooking things completely from scratch." Remote learning will continue until Ventura County has stayed in the Red Tier — when there are four to seven new cases daily per 100,000 in the county — for five consecutive days as outlined in the CDPH directive. "I think we’re going to get there, whether it be because of the vaccine [or] whether it be because people are taking mask–wearing more seriously," said Branham. "I think all of those things lead up to the fact that there’s going to be a time where we’re going to be able to be back on campus."

In brief Moorpark College Zoom events For seniors who are planning to attend Moorpark College in fall 2021, the College and Career Center is hosting several informational Zoom events. Students can sign up for an application workshop on Feb. 3 from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. Other events include weekly application workshops on Wednesdays from 2:30–5 p.m. and weekly financial aid workshops on Tuesdays from 4–6 p.m., both of which are open to the general public. To find the Zoom codes and more information on how to register, visit sites.google.com/a/learn.conejousd.net/whs -college-and-career/moorpark-collegepreview-day?authuser=0.

PSAT scores For students who took the PSAT on Jan. 26, scores will be available online by March 8. Students will receive an email when scores are ready. They can access scores by creating a College Board account (if they do not already have one) at collegeboard.org, logging in and clicking the PSAT/NMSQT test.

CVUSD Wellness Room The CVUSD Wellness Room is an interactive website that's available for all CVUSD students as a safe and calming space. It provides many relaxing activities and tools to promote well–being, including calming sounds, coloring activities, puzzles, positive affirmations and a support page where students can request an appointment with a counselor for a brief mental health consultation. Visit the CVUSD Wellness Room at sites.google.com/learn.conejousd.net/cvu sd-wellness-room/home. Compiled by Angela Ling


WHS Academic Decathlon team adapts to new competition procedures The COVID–19 pandemic has caused the WHS AcaDeca team to adjust to the new virtual competition format changed by the U.S. AcaDeca organization. by allan tieu co–news section editor The WHS AcaDeca team is in the process of making their transition from in–person competitions to their first completely online competition. AcaDeca events are split into two categories: objective tests and subjective events. The objective tests are seven multiple–choice exams on each of the following subjects: art, music, social science, science, economics, literature and mathematics. The subjective events include speeches, interviews and essays. AcaDeca competitions typically have all the objective tests on one day and the subjective events on another. Due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the events are now separated weekly throughout the month. The essay event was held on Jan. 9, and the speech and interview were held on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30. The final event, the objective tests, will be held on Feb. 6. Students will take the objective tests and write the essays on a website called USAD Enlyght. This website was created by the U.S. AcaDeca board. The speeches and interviews will most likely be conducted on Zoom or on an interface similar to Zoom.

“We use an AcaDeca specific website that the board members created in order to write the essay,” said Mathew Zilberman ‘21. “We aren’t allowed to use Google Docs or print out a page and submit a picture. It is very safe and secure how they designed the website in order to prevent people from cheating.” Despite the differences in the class and the competition, AcaDeca students are still rigorously preparing for the upcoming events. "For the multiple–choice tests, the best way to prepare is to just read the guide as many times as possible,” said Connor Laveau ‘22. “We get a big handbook with all the information that they are going to test us on and just looking over it is the best way to study in my opinion." Some AcaDeca students view the separation of events as a benefit and are going to be taking advantage of the extra time they are given each week. “We get more time to focus on the event that is coming up. Whereas last year, we had to do all the events on the same day,” said Laveau. “We couldn’t really divide our time to focus on just the speech or just the interview. We basically just had to focus on the multiple–choice tests and everything else kind of just took a back seat.” Zilberman believes that there are also other benefits with this new system.

"There are definitely benefits to being at home and being comfortable while taking the tests,” said Zilberman. “Psychologically speaking, if you’re studying in the same area that you are taking the test, you tend to [perform] better because you feel more comfortable.” However, Charisse Chua ‘22 believes that virtual competition may have some negative effects as well. “I think it just adds more stress because the events are very spread out and the competition is prolonged,” said Chua. “It takes up more of my time because I need to constantly put time in and out of class to prepare over the course of the entire month.” Although there are both positive and negative effects of the virtual competition, AcaDeca adviser Joseph Nigro and his students are working through this year’s new challenges. “Mr. Nigro is doing a really good job trying to recreate the same environment that we had last year in class,” said Zilberman. “There are definitely disadvantages to not being in the same class altogether, but we’re just trying to navigate through the year.” This year's competition will conclude with the completion of the objective tests on Feb. 6. Awards and results will be released in between mid–February and early March.

Q&A: A few words from AcaDeca students Charisse Chua '22




Q: What made you want to join AcaDeca?



Q: Do you think that having the events online will affect your performance? A: "I think that only the interview or speech would affect me because it is a lot harder to connect with the judges over a video as opposed to physically being with them. I feel that the tests aren't going to be different because they are just multiple choice."




A: "One of the main things that made me want to join was that we get to learn about a lot of interesting topics. This year, we are learning about the Cold War and how it shaped our perspective and the world today."


Q: How would you describe AcaDeca?

Connor Laveau '22

A: "AcaDeca is sort of just a competitive outlet because to some people, regular grades are just not a good metric of how well they're doing in school or how well they can compete on an academic level." LAV


Q: Why did you decide to join AcaDeca?

Mathew Zilberman '21




A: "There are probably a lot of parts to that question, but it is obviously a good resumé builder as another academic class. I knew the captain of the team when I joined two years ago, and she really hyped it up. I'm glad I joined because it is definitely one of my favorite classes." PHOTO COURT










Q: What do you value most about AcaDeca?









A: "I value the comradery within the group more so than the competition. It's definitely good to place and do well and have the fruits of your labor awarded, but becoming friends with a lot of people in the class is really the best part of AcaDeca." Q: Why do you like AcaDeca? A: "I like AcaDeca because we get to explore many topics and many angles to attack it from. This year's topic was the Cold War. We tackled the economics, science, literature and philosophies of the Cold War in the class, and it is just really interesting to delve into the topic."

Compiled by Allan Tieu

WHS students take to the roads during COVID–19 Even with the DMV unavailable for appointments, WHS students have been progressing at all stages of the driving process. by vivian stein feature page editor With a quick check of the mirrors and release of the parking brake, you’re off. You turn up the radio and pull out of the driveway with the windows rolled down and the sun shining brightly in your eyes. As you turn the wheel to the left and drive slowly through the neighborhood, you admire the freedom that driving brings. Driving is a privilege enjoyed by many adults and teenagers in the world, and students at WHS are no exception. WHS students are at all stages of the driving process, from obtaining a learner’s permit, to gaining an adequate amount of practice hours or getting ready to take the driving test. “I like the idea of driving, but I think that actually doing it and executing it might be a bit daunting,” said Nic Kellar ‘23. “ [This is] particularly [because] I live pretty far away from the school.” Kellar, who is on his way to receiving his learner’s permit in a couple months, is in the same boat as many other students at WHS. However, the good news is that there are many ways to prepare for the written test that can ease some of the confusion or stress before a long day at the DMV. “My mom got me a [driver's hand]book for my birthday that I’ve just been reviewing a little bit,” said Kellar. “Essentially, I’m just trying to look at different things and trying to assess what’s the best way to study for the written exam.” Basic books containing traffic laws, as well as mobile apps and practice websites, are all methods used by first time drivers to pass the test. "Because of [COVID–19] the line was really long for my permit test,” said Fran Troiani ‘22. ”It was [about] four hours long, so I just studied for most of that time. When I got in there, I was pretty prepared.” Lines at the DMV can stretch around the block even during normal circumstances. With COVID–19 coming into play, students’ places in the driving process are currently put on hold. “I got my permit Jan. 3 of 2020, and then I took my driving test Nov. 23 and failed,” said Molly Kreitman ‘21. “I needed to make another appointment so I could hopefully pass, but then the DMV closed about a week after I took my test.” The DMV was closed during early quarantine, then opened up later in 2020. However, on Dec. 14, the DMV closed again for appointments. Previous

appointments for behind–the–wheel driving tests have been suspended until at least Feb. 1. As of right now, driving students will be informed of cancellations and given the ability to reschedule at some point. With uncertainty about when the DMV will reopen for appointments, many students at WHS have been doing all they can to get extra hours of driving practice. “I’m kind of close to getting my license now, so I’ve just been trying to practice the testing course for my license test and trying to drive at least an hour a day, even if it's just a drive to the grocery store and back,” said Troiani. A common way students prepare for the driving test is to practice the testing course itself and make sure everything that may be on the test is known beforehand. “I was so bummed when I failed my driving test because I was ready to be over with it,” said Kreitman. “Hopefully I will have my license before we go back in person so I can drive myself to school.” Although schools are closed for the time being, a lack of cars on the roads and a surplus of empty parking lots is a sure benefit of learning to drive during a pandemic. By the time more facilities open, new drivers will have gained plenty of experience with the ways of the roads. “I’m excited; there’s a bit of autonomy that you get once you’re able to drive fully,” said Kellar. “I take walks and stuff, but there’s only so much you can do.” Many students feel the same way: that driving opens up a newfound freedom. Being able to get around without always relying on other people allows for independence. “I’m hoping that around the time I’m going to be getting my license or my permit, the world will have opened up enough where I can actually utilize it to do things,” said Kellar. Learning to drive during a pandemic can be a tough process, considering the ever–changing DMV schedule, but sometimes empty roads and quiet lots can prove to be a benefit for practice. Either way, WHS students have proven their perseverance. “There’s been so many times when I can’t go to this or can’t go to that because I don’t have a ride,” said Kreitman. “I’m just ready to have that worry be abolished.”

How to prepare for... The permit test Dowload mobile apps such as "DMV Permit Practice Test Genie" or "DMV Practice Test by Zutobi."

Read and review the California Driver Handbook, which can be found as a PDF online.

The license test Drive through the DMV testing course.

Get as many practice hours as possible in neighborhoods, intersections and even freeways. GRAPHIC BY VIVIAN STEIN FEATURE 7

Valentine's Day during COVID–19 Virtually connect with friends and family

Send gifts to people you care about

Order your favorite takeout food and watch a romcom

Socially distance outside with masks

Write letters to your significant other and become penpals

Source: publicdomain


Students celebrate Valentine's Day at a safe distance COVID–19 has put everyone in long–distance relationships this Valentine’s Day, whether it be with friends, family members or significant others. Even with restrictions, it is possible to celebrate. by kyra berg co–web editor–in–chief WHS students plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year despite COVID–19. Although students will be celebrating differently, they still plan to remind their friends and family just how much they miss them. Celebrating this year may not be as exciting, but it is not the first holiday where students should stay at home and practice social distance. On past Valentine’s Days, many WHS students gathered with their loved ones in person. Although that is highly discouraged this year, students can celebrate with others by using technology to their advantage. “I am celebrating Valentine’s Day by socially distancing through the platform Zoom,” said Jenna Lacoste ‘21. Kayley Lopez ‘22 plans to use technology to celebrate with her friends and family. She will FaceTime her family so they can open gifts together and Netflix Party with her friends after. Netflix Party is a downloadable extension that allows groups of people to 8 FEATURE

watch movies or TV shows together and chat in real–time. "Last year, I celebrated Valentine’s day with my boyfriend, and we rode our electric bikes all day up in the mountains near Malibu,” said Lopez. “[Celebrating this year] will not be the same as in person, but it is something.” Students can show their appreciation to those they have been quarantining with by celebrating Valentine’s Day with them. “[This Valentine’s Day] I will have a picnic with my [immediate] family,” said Jackson Smythe ‘21. “Normally, I would have a big dinner with extended family, but we have to limit our contact now.” Many WHS students have been seeing other people by socially distancing outside with masks and being mindful of safety guidelines. "For Valentine’s Day, I am going to hang with my friends,” said Jack Mead ‘21. “[We] trust each other and are like family. We are most likely going to stay at one of our houses and just chill [outside] and talk.” Students are also planning to reach out to the people they care about by texting or calling them. This gesture can change someone’s mood and make them feel important.

Especially with all of the sadness affiliated with COVID–19, now more than ever, students need constant positivity and uplifting. “I plan to call or text my loved ones to let them know that I am thinking of them and miss them very much,” said Lacoste. Other students plan to send gifts to their family and friends. Sending chocolate– covered strawberries, flowers or cards are considerate ways for students to remind people they care. "[Due to the circumstances], I plan on getting my loved one’s flowers," said Smythe. “[Usually], I would visit instead because it shows I care enough to take time out of my day.” Each day students decide to put themselves first and stay at home for the greater good. Although this year’s Valentine’s Day should be spent at home, it can be just as unique and special as any other. “Last year, I celebrated with my friends, and this year, I will sadly have to celebrate virtually,” said Lacoste. “But if that means that next year I can celebrate with my loved ones, then it is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”

2020 Black Lives Matter protests impact 2021 Black History Month This year’s Black History Month accompanied by the Black Lives Matter movement reflects on the continued struggle against racial injustice across the United States. by soumya monga feature section editor Three more names added to the list. This past summer, everyone across the world heard the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. These are the names of three people who were added to the list of Black indivuduals who have died at the hands of injustice and are recognized by the Black Lives Matter movement which began in 2013. “The space that #BlackLivesMatter held and continues to hold helped propel the conversation around the state–sanctioned violence [the Black community] experienced ... #BlackLivesMatter was developed in support of all Black lives,” wrote the founders of #BlackLivesMatter Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi on blacklivesmatter.com. Emma Fong ‘22 is a board member of the WHS Junior State of America chapter who has been following the Black Lives Matter movement since she was 12–years–old. She believes in fighting for Black rights, LGBTQ+ rights and more disenfranchised groups. As part of JSA, she has continued to discuss the injustices against the Black community and has signed various petitions. “In the past recent months when it started to become this huge monumental thing in America, … I was a little bit sad that it hadn’t happened sooner, but on the other hand, better late than never," said Fong. "I’m really glad that [racial injustices] are finally being addressed in this way in America.”

The movement was started in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi when African–American teenager Trayvon Martin was shot on his way home from school.

2017 The protests' focus shifted towards acquittals of those who had inhibited the equal rights of Black people. Black Lives Matter's first art exhibition was organized during Black History Month. PHOTOS COU RT E LIC DOM PUB AIN OF

George Floyd was a Black man who was arrested on May 25 in Minneapolis, MN for allegedly using a counterfeit bill to purchase supplies at a convenience store. According to the New York Times, during his arrest, Officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds. This was the spark of the monumental movement in 2020. Initially, Fong was afraid that Floyd’s story “would be lost in time” as many similar ones had been, so she was surprised when protests erupted all over the world such as in Minneapolis and London. "I was really disappointed when [Floyd was killed]



It's not difficult ... to understand that certain things are different for us and that we are still aching from the wounds of our ancestors." –Gwendalynn Waiters

because I [thought] this is just another example of a Black person being killed by the police and nothing is going to happen, but I was pleasantly surprised that there was just this huge outcry for change which was … the first time I had seen something of this magnitude,” said Fong. “It was nice to see a lot more education going on.” Black Americans have fought for civil rights since the start of slavery, and their achievements are honored through Black History Month every February. This year, there may be a change in the way this month is celebrated given the worldwide protests that happened in 2020. Gwendalynn Waiters ‘22 is a person of color who believes that there will be a lot of relearning to solidify people's understanding of what happened during the movement last year and throughout history. “[The protests] will have a large impact in remembering those who were lost and how to stop these murders from happening again,” said Waiters. “I believe that a large emphasis [will be placed on] relearning how the world treats Black people and how to be better in the long run." Waiters believes that change can start from our own community. She asks WHS students to analyze their thoughts and words towards the Black community. Waiters has witnessed racial injustices in her life before and urges others to be respectful of other cultures. “It’s not difficult to respect those who have been affected by our own history just for the stigma that remains due to the color of our skin, to respect and not appropriate our culture, to not use words that aren’t theirs to reclaim, to understand that certain things are different for us and that we are still aching from the wounds of our ancestors,” said Waiters. Waiters has continued to spread awareness about the racial injustices against the Black community though she personally did not attend protests. She and Fong have both taken to social media to post and repost educational articles about current Black Lives Matter events. Waiters believes that the biggest challenge the community faces is racial stigmas, which make it difficult for members to fully embrace themselves and their culture. “People today still can’t show off their heritage because they could be stigmatized," said Waiters, "and the fact that you constantly have to put up with microaggressions because you would just prove them right if you talk back."

Journey of the Black Lives Matter movement


The death of George Floyd created the pathway for many more protests worldwide. Protests ranged from Minneapolis to London to advocate for Black civil rights. Source: cosmopolitan.com


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Entertainment industry feels impact of COVID–19 COVID-19 has brought with it disastrous consequences for the entertainment industry. Artists across the globe have suffered from the effects of a worldwide pandemic and have been fighting financially, socially and artistically to find creative ways of battling back. by abigail thompson a&e section & co–web editor–in–chief


Broadway will remain closed until May 2021. Performing arts students are forced in front of computer screens and audiences are banned from theaters as the entire artistic community must try to embrace the hardships that the COVID–19 pandemic has forced upon artists of all kind — especially actors, singers and dancers who pay their dues performing live. 2020 hit Broadway, the West End of London and other theatre communities and companies hard, leaving them wobbling on one foot. According to brinknews.com, an estimated 50% of people involved in the performing arts lost their jobs last year because of the global pandemic. “Because of [social distancing mandates], you’re separated from everything in the arts,” said WHS theatre student Kate Hackney ‘24. “[COVID-19] takes away the necessities of being in a production or theatre class — it takes away the costumes, makeup and that whole other aspect of theatre.” New creative projects have arisen to try to raise money for everyone whose job within the performing arts has been negatively affected. An example of this is Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, a one–night only online performance that streamed on Jan. 4. The proceeds were donated to The Actors Fund, a program established to ensure financial stability for entertainers nationwide. WHS has also been working to overcome challenges created by the pandemic. “What I’ve been told is that [WHS theatre is] creating a production for next quarter and leading into quarter four,” said Hackney. “But in class we do monologues and pantomime, which we perform [virtually], or we pre– record them and show them through Zoom.” Still, she points out the drastic effect that the COVID–19 pandemic will have on young, aspiring performers. “For any middle schooler or high schooler who is looking for a future in acting or theatre, it’s going to be harder,” Hackney said. “But I think Broadway, TV shows and movies will be fine.” With the shut down of schools, small businesses and hair salons in March of 2020 also came the closure of dance studios and productions, locally and nationally. "Unfortunately, my dance show was canceled [last] year,” said Mia Schlosser ‘24. “[Performing live] is a really big part of dance because it’s kind of like the end result. We practice each year and then in December we get to do The Nutcracker [Ballet], so I think that it's really sad that we didn't get to do that."

DANCING ON MY OWN: California Dance Theatre, the studio that Mia Schlosser attends, has adjusted to COVID-19 restrictions by holding the majority of its classes outside. By placing marley flooring in the parking lot outside of the studio, students can safely dance social–distance style with masks on.

Schlosser, who is currently training at California Dance Theatre, a local studio, was supposed to play the lead in its spring ballet before the COVID–19 shut down made it impossible for her to perform live. However, CDT got creative for both the spring ballet and the new winter ballet that debuted in early December. The performances were filmed rather than performed live and were presented in a drive–in movie setting. This gave people the opportunity to enjoy the show from the safety of their vehicles. “Not being able to perform was definitely a big let down of 2020,” said Schlosser. “But it was kind of cool going out and doing something so different. I wouldn’t have had those opportunities without [COVID–19].” As much as it has torn the dance community apart, COVID–19 has also brought people together on a national level. Tiler Peck, a principal dancer at New York City Ballet, has launched weekly Instagram live ballet classes that people all across the world participate in. Peck adjusts the movements in her class so that people can safely dance at home. “I feel like I want to use the platform that I have to give the knowledge that I have and inspire kids in whatever way I can,” said Peck in an interview with TodayTix. With the efforts of dedicated dance professionals like Peck, and students like Schlosser, the dance community will inevitably get back up on its feet when the time comes, and its live performances will be back stronger than ever. Because the live–performance aspect of music, concerts in particular, have been taken away, the music industry is facing problems both financially and in music consumption. The industry itself has lost over 10 billion dollars in sponsorships, according to the World Economic Forum.

Anyone and everyone who is in some way involved in the music industry has felt the disastrous shake of the pandemic in one way or another — the postponement of tours (such as that of The Rolling Stones) and cancellation of festivals (like Coachella) are prime examples of this. Yet, music artists of all kinds have banded together to brainstorm ways that these struggles could be overcome virtually. The WHS music program has been kept busy adjusting to learning music on Zoom, which has been very impractical. “It’s been challenging for sure,” said Ari Shiller, WHS band director, guitar teacher and Music Appreciated instructor. “[However,] it’s allowed new opportunities to explore different mediums of music making ." Shiller explained the difficulties that musicians in his classes face while on Zoom, one of the biggest issues being that it is impossible for everyone to perform online at once. Still, people have come up with incredibly creative solutions to an infeasible problem. Industry celebrities have taken on online performances; The New West Symphony has been performing virtually for audiences from the Ronald Reagan Library and WHS’s music department has discovered a way to make an online artistic learning experience worthwhile. With the future of the COVID–19 pandemic unclear, it is hard to predict what is in the foreseeable future for music artists and for the music industry itself in 2021. “The arts will prevail,” said Shiller. “People will continue to support the music and the musicians they love, and I think that we will see a big surge in support and love … I’m optimistic about the music industry. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.” A & E


Zelda: the lost voice of the lost generation There is evidence that one of the most famous works of American literature, The Great Gatsby, may be plagiarized. F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda Fitzgerald, was the original author of many passages and phrases that the 1920s author is praised for writing.


I HOPE SHE'S A FOOL: F. Scott Fizgerald stole this prolific line straight from the mouth of his wife, Zelda, after she had given birth to their daughter. The line remains one of the most well known in The Great Gatsby, and in history.

by sophia haines a & e page editor Zelda Fitzgerald defined the Jazz Age, a term coined by her husband, as the model for the carefree, sultry and liberated flapper for women everywhere. However, she was also a very intelligent woman who sought means of creative expression apart from her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. Throughout her life, Zelda Fitzgerald was a writer, dancer and painter. People around her remarked how unique her voice was and how witty and eloquent she was for a woman of the time. Scott Fitzgerald often used that biting wit in his own work, even going as far as to take words straight from Zelda. He even published entire passages from her love letters and diaries in his novels. “She spoke with so spontaneous a color and wit — almost exactly the way she wrote,” said Bunny Wilson, a friend of the Fitzgeralds according to the novel Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in Paradise by Sally Cline.

In fact, one of Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous lines from The Great Gatsby — “I hope she’s a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world; a beautiful little fool” — was taken straight from Zelda Fitzgerald’s mouth. After the birth of Zelda Fitzgerald’s own child, Zelda remarked her hope that her child would be “... beautiful and a fool — a beautiful little fool.” Scott Fitzgerald, who was in the habit of saving his wife’s letters and diaries for later use in novels, scratched the phrase down on a piece of paper, according to The Atlantic. Scott Fitzgerald’s first literary success, This Side of Paradise, borrowed entire passages from Zelda Fitzgerald’s love letters and her diary, often making little to no changes in the plagiarized excerpts. “[His actions] are so deeply entangled with the art itself… It is not his [artistic property] to give in some way,” said Charlotte Barnett ‘21 when talking about how Scott Fitzgerald’s plagiarism affected her view of the author. Considering the high regard that Scott Fitzgerald is held in as a writer, the fact that what

are regarded as some of his most prolific quotes did not come from him, but instead his wife, causes many to reevaluate their outlook on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s talent and writing in general. In fact, Barnett remarked that this information was “disappointing … because he became the worst of what he has written,” in regards to male characters. Furthermore, in 1918, Zelda Fitzgerald lent her diary to Scott Fitzgerald who subsequently tried to get it published, although the story of how is still being debated. However, when Zelda broke up their first engagement, that plan came to an end and Scott Fitzgerald saved the writings for later use. “[Zelda Fitzgerald’s diaries] interested me so greatly, that in my capacity as a magazine editor, I made her an offer for them,” said George Jean Nathan, co–editor of The Smart Set. “[Scott Fitzgerald] could not permit me to publish them since he had gained a lot of inspiration from them and wanted to use parts of them in his own novels and short stories.” Because of this plagiarism, when Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald married and moved to New York, public opinion regarded Zelda Fitzgerald solely as Scott Fitzgerald's wife and a free–spirited flapper, not the sophisticated woman with profoundness or intellectualism. Although she despised it, she never objected or intervened on her own behalf. Once the Fitzgeralds moved to France with a cohort of other writers from the Lost Generation, Zelda began to train as a ballet dancer for up to eight hours a day, and as a result was hospitalized. In the hospital, she wrote her only book, Save Me the Waltz. Rumor has it that Scott Fitzgerald resented Zelda Fitzgerald for writing this book because it carried very similar themes to his book Tender is the Night and was published before he could put out his own pseudo–biographical novel about the couple’s deteriorating marriage. When Scott Fitzgerald published The Beautiful and the Damned in 1922, Zelda wrote a biting but lighthearted review in the New–York Tribune stating, “On one page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly after my marriage, and also scraps of letters, which, though considerably edited, sounded vaguely familiar … Mr. Fitzgerald … seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.” Compiled by Abigail Thompson


A & E

Social media influences teenage opinion With the recent presidential election, many students took to social media to share their views. While social media is a great way to do so, users must be wary of using it as the sole source from which to gather information and form their own opinion. commentary by songhee lee, lauren pak & lindsey romano co-editors-in-chief Social media has rapidly grown over the years and has become one of the major sources of receiving news and information. Many people have started to utilize these apps to bring more exposure to new topics and opinions; however, it has now become the primary source of receiving news information. It is a huge leap from before as people are becoming more aware of global and political issues, but it is important that people do not solely rely on social media. An effective system to share news has been created around social media apps; however, the algorithm many apps utilize causes each user to receive an inaccurate or bias range of news. Based on an individual’s browser history, social media apps present what a particular user wants to see, but in turn diminishes a user’s inclination for searching other news topics and opinions. Though the users can take the time to search it on their own, often, many do not due to the need of taking extra measures. Moreover, political posts often use incorrect information that skew their arguments. Whether it be a misleading graph, statistic or the wrong usage of a word, all factors contribute to the misrepresentation of an issue or opinion. Accuracy is extremely important when it comes to receiving news on serious issues, and many social posts include the user’s own opinion or false information that devalues credibility. Unlike predominantly conservative states, whose residents likely praise former president Donald Trump and criticize President Biden, California’s liberal makeup calls for the opposite. WHS students have probably seen their Instagram feed flooded with posts bashing former president Trump and praising President Biden. And while it is encouraged to raise awareness to political issues, it should not be done in such a polarized fashion. For example, when students voice their political views on social media and it doesn’t align with the majority of their followers, it often

results in very public arguments and “unfollowings.” This is why social media should not be the primary way of promoting political issues, because it shifts social media’s purpose from a platform that unites students to a platform that creates an “us” vs. “them” mentality. Delving deeper into the mob mentality that comes with politics on social media, it is extremely important that students do their own research before committing to a certain belief. Often to prove a point about supporting or opposing “X,” social media users will cherry pick online information that validates their side of the argument, completely disregarding any information that proves the contrary. Additionally, these posts are often exaggerated, are taken out of context, or are completely made up. But because social media users are so trusting of the information, those posts continue to get reposted and fake news is spread. This inaccurate news influences peoples’ beliefs, making their political standpoint partially flawed. And so, before educating themselves, social media users will look down upon the opposing beliefs. Furthermore, because the information available on social media is often not factually based and most posts reflect a specific party’s opinion, fact vs. opinion is very important when researching a topic such as politics that has multiple sides. Social media posts that often reflect one’s opinion stray away from fact. In order to form one’s own opinion on a topic, objective reports are the best to look at. When first reading about a topic, credible or not, it is difficult to take the side you may truly agree with when the credibility is clouded by the opinion of the writer. Once social media users can form their own opinion rather than simply accepting the opinions of others, social media is a great place to view posts that may align with your opinion. Another problem with researching political issues through social media is the anonymity that comes with it. Knowing that likely no one will confront users about the information posted and that they can stay protected in the online space,

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many take to social media to post even the most extreme of opinions despite what they actually may believe. This extremity must leave viewers wary of the opinions shared. Because it can be so anonymous, the facts used to justify their opinions can not always be deemed credible. Essentially, social media is an open platform that allows anybody to post whatever they choose with no thought to their credibility. Checking the exclusivity of the source you are getting your information from can be one great way to ensure the source is accurate. Social media, with millions of anonymous users, is guaranteed to be less accurate than a well known media company that only allows publication from named reporters. Our intention is not to discourage those who wish to use their social media platform to share their opinion, but we are simply reflecting on the fact that social media should not be the sole basis used to form that opinion. Instead of only using social media to do so, use it to learn about topics that can jumpstart your research. Better yet, form your own opinion based on facts and turn to social media to learn of ways to help the cause. For example, many people post petitions to sign or phone numbers of people to discuss a certain issue. Ultimately use social media as a means to start learning, not only as your primary source of information. Most importantly, always be cautious of what you’re reading and always check the validity of what you’re reposting. Many posts do list their sources in one of the corners or the caption, so be on the lookout for this. EDITORIAL 13

An “egg”cellent choice to start the day From scrambled to hard–boiled, choosing the best egg for a meal can be pretty tough. However, The Arrow is here to help. It is time to prove once and for all which way to prepare an egg is superior. No "yolk"! commentary by harrison weinberg

opinion page editor A new day starts as you slowly awake one morning, your alarm blaring and your eyelids still heavy. You force yourself out of bed, and as you slump downstairs, you ask yourself what you want for breakfast. Pancakes? Meh. Cereal? Nah, you had that yesterday. You finally decide to make yourself eggs, but then the next question hits you: Which way do you want them? Eggs are an unusual food, with various ways to eat them and countless fancy names for each. Even with all of these different eggs though, there is one that stands above the others for it’s taste, nutrition and easiness to prepare: the soft–boiled egg. Soft–boiled eggs are the best type of eggs because of their taste. They have the classic soft chewiness of many other eggs, added with the creaminess of the yolk. It has all the best parts a hard–boiled egg has to offer without the dryness, and adds a tasty touch to not only breakfast, but other meals as well. Some people may not like their yolks to be so runny, but that’s okay! The runniness of the yolk can be modified depending on how long the egg is boiled. The longer it is

boiled, the less runny it will be. This versatility allows the soft–boiled egg to be enjoyed by more people with different tastes and preferences. Also, soft–boiled are better for one's health compared to other eggs. According to SpoonUniversity.com, an informative website designed for giving cooking guides, tips and facts, boiling eggs is the second healthiest way to prepare eggs next to raw eggs, which can expose the consumer to Salmonella, leading to food poisoning. Fat, oil, butter and anything similar are not required to boil an egg, removing any additional calories and overall making the egg healthier. In fact, the only thing required besides the egg itself is water. This means that you get all the nutrients from the egg without any extra calories. Compared to other eggs, soft–boiled eggs are effortless to prepare. The process is simple: boil the eggs in a pot of water at medium heat for up to eight minutes, then let them cool enough to be able to peel them. This can be helpful for students who woke up for school late and need a quick, easy and enjoyable breakfast to get them ready. They can also be prepared in advance and

stored in the fridge, making for a healthy on–the–go breakfast. According to Food Network journalist Heath Goldman, the only hard part of making soft–boiled eggs is peeling them. While this can end up being a problem as eggs don’t always peel very easily, she does provide a solution. “Slip a small spoon underneath the shell (working your way in through the air pocket at the end) and carefully slide the spoon in a circle right beneath the shell to release the egg,” said Goldman. “When you’re finished, dip the egg in the ice water to wash off any small fragments of the shell and gently pat the egg dry.” Soft–boiled eggs have many benefits to them that other eggs can’t compare to. They are creamy and mouth–watering which can improve any breakfast, and they provide an outstanding nutritional value compared to other eggs. Not to mention, they are trouble–free and simple to make. So, next time the sheer amount of egg options makes decisions tough, don’t get yourself in a “scramble,” and choose the option that “shell” always make the morning just a bit better.

STEP ONE: In a pot or saucepan, bring water to a boil at medium–high heat. Source: bonappetit.com 16 OPINION

STEP TWO: Slowly lower eggs into the water one at a time. Boil for exactly 6.5 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep a gentle boil.

STEP THREE: Move the eggs into a bowl of ice water and let them cool until they are only slightly warm (about 2 minutes).


t c e f r e p e How to mak s g g e d e l i o b – soft STEP FOUR: Gently crack and peel the eggs (starting from the wider end makes it easier). Serve fresh and enjoy! GRAPHIC BY HARRISON WEINBERG

COVID–19 spreads through the NFL Jan. 20, 2020: First two cases of COVID–19 in the United States in Washington State. March 13, 2020: Cancellation of major league sports due to COVID–19 cases among staff and players.

July 23, 2020: Training camps begin for the NFL along with regular testing.

Sep. 10, 2020: First NFL games begin in home stadiums with limits on the amount of fans.

July 23–Aug. 1, 2020: Games begin in isolated and neutral locations for the other major leagues: NBA, NHL, & MLB.

Sep. 24–Oct. 4, 2020: Outbreak among Tennessee Titans players forces the cancellation of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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Oct. 3, 2020: Outbreak spreads outside the Titans to Cam Newton, the quarterback of the New England Patriots.

Nov. 27, 2020: Beginning with the Thanksgiving Day games, new rules were laid out by the NFL , including advanced contact tracing technology.

Jan. 5, 2021: The Cleveland Browns' coach tests positive, days before wildcard game.

Nov. 23–Dec. 2, 2020: Outbreak among the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL rescheduled the Thanksgiving game for Dec. 2, 2020.

Jan. 3, 2021: The playoffs are set with an additional wildcard team allowed for the AFC and NFC.

Jan. 9–10, 2021: Wildcard Round of the NFL playoffs occurs with much reduced crowds.

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NFL playoffs come under stress With positive tests popping up for many teams, COVID–19’s spread strains NFL’s regular season and postseason. by owen kobett sports section editor The NFL season and playoffs have been a standard every year since June 8, 1966, the date when the NFL and AFL were united. However, this year they have come under real stress due to the cancellations and postponement from COVID–19. According to ESPN, these scenarios have produced a number of noticeable changes from past years, such as road teams having their highest win percentage in decades. They note that the win percentage of 47.1% in past years vs 42.9% this year has likely been affected by the low number of fans in the stands. The NFL restarted their season on Sept. 10, 2020 and since then, every team has been affected. One of these teams, The Tennessee Titans, had a COVID–19 outbreak occur among 24 of their players, and their Oct. 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed. Due in part to challenges like this, NFL players have had less practice time to be ready for competition. “I think the NFL's done a good job of actually being able to put on a season,” said NFL and fantasy football enthusiast Josh Lavin ‘21. I’m happy even

though it might not have been the best season in the sense that there is a lot more injuries because of a lot less preparation.” According to operationsNFL.com, the NFL has adopted a myriad of new regulations to reduce the increase in cases. These include wearing a mask on the sidelines, limiting postgame interaction and using new contact tracing technology. This technology has narrowed down the exact methods that spread the disease most easily. According to the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer in an interview with the Boston Globe on Dec. 15, meetings among members of a team such as dinners and locker room meetings are more likely to spread the virus than contact during their sport. Having made it through a difficult season, the NFL faced another challenge: the NFL playoffs. The Cleveland Browns head coach and multiple linebackers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contracted COVID–19 on Jan. 5 which was expected to greatly affect both teams’ ability to compete well in the playoffs. “I think for the whole entire playoffs ... they should have done a bubble,” said NFL fan Kyal Thornton ‘24. “The playoffs are way different than just regular season, [It’s] teams trying to get to the ultimate game.”

Despite the damage COVID–19 closures have done to the NFL's revenue and the affect the lack of a crowd had on the teams, they made it through Wildcard Weekend without any new changes. By Jan. 11, teams such as the Browns and the Buccaneers had moved on to the Divisional Round and were gradually recovering from their latest outbreak. The Buccaneers will go head to head with the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. According to sportingnews.com, although there were almost no cases during the Divisional Round, attendance at the Super Bowl is still expected to be limited. As of February 2nd it was expected that 25,000 fans 7,500 of which would be vaccinated healthcare workers would be allowed to be present at the game out of a capacity of 65,000 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay according to NFL.org. Despite coming to nearly the brink of collapse in October and November, according to USA Today, the NFL didn't have to cancel a single game and was able to keep fans at the games. “I think they will be able to bounce back relatively quickly,” said Lavin. “I think the NFL has done a good job of adapting to what’s happening, so I don’t think it will be too hard for them to adapt back to how they normally would be.” SPORTS 17

Hiking grows in popularity during COVID–19 Since the pandemic began and gyms closed, people have turned to hiking as a safe form of exercise. Hiking has become a popular way to improve mental health, especially for students who are feeling trapped in their houses during remote learning. by makenna norman sports page editor Due to being trapped in their houses for days at a time and being forced to spend hours in front of a computer screen, many students have found hiking to be a perfect escape from the current halt across the globe. People are heading to local trails to maintain their well–being by exercising and enjoying the scenery without having to worry about contracting or spreading the COVID–19 virus. Hiking is not only a safe activity to engage in since it allows for social distancing and good ventilation, but it’s also a great way to exercise and improve mental health. “Especially during this time, a lot of [students] are trapped inside … whether it’s because of [COVID–19] or because they have to do school online,” said KC Barber ‘23. “I think getting outside and being in the sunshine… [and] getting some exercise [is] a really positive experience.” Hiking has become very convenient during the pandemic because it is done outdoors and away from people. Wearing a mask when passing someone on the trail and avoiding hikes with people outside of your household creates a safe

Hiking trails in Thousand Oaks

environment for exercise. Furthermore, it is preferred to hike around the community instead of driving to far away trails because staying in hotels, eating out and stopping for gas all increase the risk of being exposed to and contracting the virus. "We're trying to protect one another’s health,” said Tania Lown–Hecht, communications director for Outdoor Alliance, an organization that works to manage and conserve public lands, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We all want to do everything we can to maintain access to these places because they're so important for so many of us right now."

Being away from your home and being in a new environment, even if it's just for an hour or so, is a nice break.” –Madelyn Lynch Hiking is also a convenient alternative to going to the gym. Walking on uneven terrain and using walking sticks makes hiking a full–body workout and can be as efficient as going on a treadmill or

lifting weights. Hiking is also a safer form of exercise because visiting a gym includes dangers such as using shared machines, being in an enclosed space with poor ventilation and constant, intense breathing by people who are working out.

I think getting outside and being in the sunshine… [and] getting some exercise [is] a really positive experience.” –KC Barber “Hiking is one of the best ways to get exercise,” according to the National Park Service, a federal government agency that manages all national parks. “No matter what type of trail you find yourself on, hiking is a great whole–body workout, from head to toe and everything in between.” During this stressful time, hiking has become a popular way for students to break up their monotonous schedules, ultimately improving mental health. Simply implementing physical activity into students’ schedules can reduce anxiety and being outdoors can be refreshing for people stuck at home. “[I like] the fresh air and kind of being away from society when you’re [hiking],” said avid hiker Madelyn Lynch ‘23. “Being away from your home and being in a new environment, even if it's just for an hour or so, is a nice break.”


WILDWOOD REGIONAL PARK: Located on Avenida De Los Arboles, this park has many trails ranging from easy to moderate. One of the most popular trails is Paradise Falls, which leads to a stunning waterfall. Source: maps.google.com 18 SPORTS

LOS ROBLES TRAIL: Located on Moorpark Rd., the Los Robles Trail includes several trails ranging in length and difficulty. There are long, uphill trails for an intense workout and shorter, flatter trails for a leisurely walk.

SAPWI TRAILS: Located off Westlake Blvd., the Sapwi Trails include several different paths and entrances as well as a bike park and a disc golf course. Compiled by Makenna Norman

Profile for The Westlake Arrow

The Arrow February 2021  

The Arrow is written and created by the Advanced Journalism staff at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, CA.

The Arrow February 2021  

The Arrow is written and created by the Advanced Journalism staff at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, CA.