The Hawk's Eye

Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Disobedience (2.5/5 stars)

Based on the novel by Naomi Alderman (who wrote The Power, which is a great read!), Disobedience is the story of a woman who has escaped the small Jewish town in the United Kingdom, and now lives a bohemian, artist living in New York. However, when she gets the call that her father has died, she returns to face the town and a secret former flame. While the plot is interesting and touches on a lot of big themes (religious stigma around the gay community and gender norms), it lacked a certain tangible feature: dialogue. The movie was slow paced and a bit dry because of the silence. That said, the lack of dialogue may have been a choice made by the artistic team, as silence consumes the small religious town and, in the film, was successful in heightening the tension (although there was never a reason to be tense, as nothing bad ever came to pass). All in all, this movie is for the person who likes slower paced films that touch on big issues, but I would not recommend it to most due to the pace and overt sexual nature.

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story (5/5 stars)

While I am not the most avid Star Wars fan (don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen all the movies and enjoy them quite a bit), I feel like I have the authority to say that Solo was a good movie! It received some hate from the die-hard fans, but I felt like it delivered everything I wanted: twists and turns, adventure, great chase scenes (loved them filling out Solo’s backstory!), romance, friendship, and the charismatic Han that we all know and love. Keep in mind, for me to say that I liked Alden Ehrenreich as Han, required me to get over how terrible he was in the film adaption of Beautiful Creatures. In summary, I liked it because it was fun. Obviously, Star Wars isn’t on this list because it will sweep the Oscars or Sundance Film Festival, but it delivered the gift of being transported into outer space for two hours and seeing the origin of the best space pilot in the galaxy.

 

Ocean’s Eight (5/5)

I was incredibly excited for Ocean’s Eight and it delivered on EVERYTHING I wanted: girl power, a fantastic heist in the typical Ocean’s style, and, of course, Rihanna. Sandra Bullock was the perfect female counter to George Clooney’s Danny Ocean since they have the same despicable but charming quality. As someone who loves the Met Gala in real life, I loved the plot, and I actually think it’s the most clever of all of the Ocean’s movies. Seriously, what’s better than stealing not just jewelry from one of the most coveted guests, but also clearing out the exhibit? Additionally, the actresses were all fantastic in the movie, since they had distinct personalities but were able to work well as a team.

 

Incredibles 2 (4.5/5)

The Incredibles 2 was so much fun, predictable, but fun. When I say predictable, I mean anyone over the age of 8 could’ve figured out the villain within the first half an hour, probably less. The movie was also a bit too long for my taste, much like the first one, and could’ve been condensed. That said, I was thrilled with the Jack-Jack sequences since they were by far the funniest and most creative parts of the movie. While I was working at the Head-Royce summer camp, one of my campers would not stop talking (or rather laughing) about the Jack-Jack/ raccoon scene, which the animators clearly enjoyed making given the creativity at play. I felt like it was a shame that the baby stole the film, and I wish Violet and Dash had had a storyline beyond struggling with boys and struggling with math, respectively. I must admit, the two-second clip of Violet blowing water out of her nose was relatable. In total, the movie was a blast from the past for me, and I enjoyed it

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3/5)

Fallen Kingdom is a middle movie. That’s fine, but that is what it is. It harkened back to some of the original scenes in Jurassic Park, but the animation was better! That said, it was boring with the constant suspense and lazy writing. I really enjoyed the dinosaur trafficking storyline and thought that the auction scene was well done, but it was drawn out too long.  

 

Hearts Beat Loud (4/5)

Hearts Beat Loud was exactly what I wanted to watch: a feel-good, family, comedy with slight dramatic elements. It was an amazing ensemble piece featuring Nick Offerman, my parks and rec favorite, about a single dad who is deciding whether or not to give up his record-shop due to lack of business. The other key storyline is the relationship between father and daughter, who is gearing up to attend UCLA in the fall. The father and daughter duo create a band and produce a Spotify hit. While the movie seems cheesy, I thought that it was very sweet to see people have such a bond over music.

 

Sorry to Bother You (5/5)

Sorry to Bother You was Fascinating with a capital “f.” Going in, I thought that the movie was simply going to be about a young African-American man working in customer service, who finds that using his “white voice” is the only way to climb the ranks; however, this brief summary is what you are LED to believe by the trailers, when the movie is in fact much more. Indeed, the movie is a commentary not only on what it’s like to be black in America, but on capitalism in America and the obvious intersection between race and success. I was absolutely shocked about halfway in, and I can’t say anything else lest I spoil it. Would definitely recommend watching, but there is some graphic nudity and swearing, so be cautious watching with parents unless they’re the ones who suggested it.

 

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (5/5)

Mamma Mia was by far the most fun movie I saw this summer. That said, I am one who is always on board for a musical romantic comedy, so I was definitely the target audience. I thought that the songs were really well incorporated into the film (perhaps more successfully than the original) and it was so much fun to see the original and new members of the cast. I loved the flashbacks since they just allowed for so much fun. Yes, I know that I’ve used the word “fun” 3 times, but that is the best way to describe this movie. I kid you not, I had an ear to ear grin on my face as soon as the opening scene began.

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (6/5)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was the most moving film I saw this summer. It was a documentary about Steve Rogers, or Mr. Rogers, who was a pastor turned children’s television show host which ran from 1968 to 2001. While the show wasn’t a part of my upbringing, I was deeply moved by the message of kindness and acceptance that he preached. For example, in the 60s and 70s, there had been headline after headline about people of color not being allowed in public pools, so Mr. Rogers responded with an episode where he invited a black man to sit with him on a hot day in the Neighborhood and put his feet in a kiddie pool with him. Overall, the empathy and general kindness of Mr. Rogers was very inspiring, and the movie carried a message that I will carry with me for a long time.

 

Eighth Grade (3.5/5)

Eighth Grade was painfully real. The movie was about a girl in 8th grade who had a YouTube account where she gave her followers (but more accurately herself) advice on being confident and making friends. The movie starts with one of these YouTube videos, and it was the cringiest (yes, not a real word, I know) thing I’ve ever watched. Truly painful. That said, her trying to give herself advice was really real. While I was in 8th grade before all of the social media bloggers had taken off, the idea of comparing yourself to others, trying to fit in, etc. all resonated with me. Eighth Grade was also sad, in a way, just watching life unfold and see her deal with social pressures was hard, but only because it was real.

 

Movies seen but not reviewed: Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity Wars

 

Next on my list: Juliet, Naked and Crazy Rich Asians

 

Student Feature: Awards and Recognition at the Global Online Academy Catalyst Conference

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This past year, the History 10 teachers decided to change the typical research project to a research project that required students to look at an issue in current society, the history of that issue, and propose a solution. After completing their paper, the students submitted a version of their findings to the Global Online Academy Catalyst Conference. If you have a chance, I would recommend looking at all of the work of the US History students online (and several students who are taking GOA classes!). While all of the projects were great, four sophomores were recognized for their papers, and one junior was recognized after taking a GOA course.

Sara Covin received a Catalyst for Change Prize for her presentation entitled An IOU for Women: The Disparity in Pay between Men and Women Since 1930. One of the panelists reviewing this presentation wrote, “Very thorough and well-researched project that not only gave solid and comprehensive background, but also put a detailed plan of action into place. This project — also very relevant in its timing given the #METOO environment — has a strong chance of inspiring immediate change, as specific tools are given to the reader to act now.”

Gayatri Singla’s presentation titled The Polluted Sounds of the Sea garnered the praise of evaluators, one writing, “The first thing that impressed me was Gayatri’s long-held interest in marine science. Gayatri is passionate about it and did a great job articulating the dire problems experienced by whales. I knew very little about whales or that anything had been impacting them. This project brought their plight into focus. The end result of reading this project: I want to know more, and if I can help, I would now be interested in learning how.”

Siena Martin received a Catalyst for Change Prize for her presentation, The Right to Choose: History of Birth Control. A reviewer describer the project by saying, “I was impressed how the author outlined a cogent history of reproductive rights over time, and in doing so illustrated how frustrating and exhausting it is that we are still fighting this fight. The author provides concrete solutions for us to consider as we move forward.”

Elizabeth Novogradac captured the attention of panelists with her presentation “They Did Not Listen” : Sexual Violence after Title IX.  Panelists praised the relevancy of the project, “The timing of this research and project is excellent. In light of the #METOO movement, there could not be a more relevant time to inspire and affect change in the world for increasing awareness among and reducing cases of sexual abuse among female athletes. This project was particularly well-researched with numerous excellent sources used and cited. The videos included — with firsthand accounts — were particularly illuminating and moving. Very well done.”

Sydney Medford received a Catalyst for Change prize for her work in GOA’s Architecture course, creating a proposal called Oakland, CA Temporary Homeless Shelter. She impressed panelists with “her professional ideas and execution,” and they applauded her for having “clearly identified a significant global problem but made it relevant by examining its impact on her home city, Oakland. Sydney’s presentation illustrated advanced architectural thinking and skills and was well documented.”

Filed under Showcase, Spotlight, Stories

March for Our Lives- A Feature of Student and Faculty Activists at HRS

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






March 14th Walkout Photo Gallery

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

A gallery featuring the 6-12 walkout, a glimpse of the Ashanti workshop, and several student art reflections.

Filed under Features, Spotlight

QUIZ: What should your prom dress be based on your everyday style?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Fall TV Shows!!!!

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Summer definitely has its perks: warm beaches, tasty fruit, good movies, and, of course, a break from the hustle and bustle of school. But let’s just say exhilarating television shows, or even sports, are not in summer’s wheelhouse. Luckily, autumn has a wide array of highly-anticipated television shows to look forward to. The NFL regular season started on Thursday, September 7th when the Kansas City Chiefs took on the New England Patriots. According to USA Today, the Patriots are projected to go 16-0; whereas the New York Jets are projected to go 1-15. NBC’s drama This is Us received applause from both critics and fans for the first season and the second season is not planning to fall short. This is Us follows three adult triplets as their lives intertwine.The season finale had around 13 million viewers in the United States. Season two will premiere on Tuesday, September 26th. The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl will air the week of October 9th. All three shows, especially The Flash, left us with our jaws dropped, which makes their upcoming seasons even more tempting to watch. Although HBO’s Game of Thrones was not featured in this year’s Emmy awards, the network still won big. HBO’s political sitcom Veep claimed the Best Comedy Series for the third year in a row. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays a former senator and current vice-president, leads the cast. The series will return to television early next year. Netflix’s Stranger Things, set in a small 1980’s town, focuses on the investigation of the disappearance of a young boy while supernatural events haunt the town. Season 2 will be on Netflix on October 27th to see how the characters have handled the events. It also premieres just in time for Halloween! Narcos has already returned to Netflix and was met with positive reviews. As for me, I am keen for all of CW’s programs, as well as ABC’s sitcoms such as Modern Family and Blackish. These shows are just some of the many programs to watch this season, so keep your eyes peeled!

Filed under Features

Affinity Groups at The School

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






During a typical thursday lunch, you may walk into a variety of rooms (Mr. Scott’s, Dr. Bradley’s or Ms. V’s) to find India club hosting a club meeting. India club meetings are often centered around discussion about culture, Indian centered organizations, and relevant topics surrounding being Indian-American.

Q: What is your name and grade, and what do you identify as?

A: My name is Anjali Dhawan, I am in 11th grade and I identify as an Indian in the Head-Royce Community.

Q: Are you in ___ (why or why not)?

A: I am in India Club, and am leading the club this year. It has been a great group of students that have gotten together and created a safe space for discussions and to talk about an issues we see fit.

Q: What are your favorite things about India Club ?

A: I think my favorite thing about India Club is that even though we are a small group of students, we still find a way to have meaningful discussions. Along with these discussions, it is great to be able to host events throughout the school to share our culture with the community and be a presence throughout the year. In the club, there is a balance of students who identify as Indian and those who do not, and I think this is something I like about the club as it bring different perspectives to issues centralized on a specific race, which always calls for interesting discussions.

Q: How many people belong to India Club?

A: In India Club there are around 10 students and Ms. V as our faculty advisor as well as a strong leader of the club.

Q: What are India Club’s goals, both long and short term?

A: India Club’s short term goals for the year have been to get more involved in the community, something we were able to do with our Diwali and Holi presentations for both the lower and middle schoolers. Our long term goal is to be an expanding affinity group and to be have a stronger presence at school. Another goal of ours is to form better relations with other affinity groups and to collaborate together for events to spread the love we all have for our specific group.

Q: What has been your experience at head royce?

A: At Head-Royce, my experience for a long time has been to hide my culture and I never really found a safe way to be open about it. I do think once I reached high school and found out that India Club was a thing, I jumped to the idea of being able to have a safe space that I can go to talk and share my problems. I think this affinity group during my freshman year was what really got me comfortable to share and express my culture. It is something I still struggle with today, but there are always new obstacles we face at school and what matters most is that I have a group of people I can always turn to for help.

Q: What is your opinion of affinity groups at head royce?

A: Affinity groups are not-but should be-highly recognized in the Head Royce community, especially because of its ability to make students comfortable with talking and sharing their ideas and feelings without being silenced in the a classroom. Some of the larger affinity groups have a larger presence in the community and I do think the rest of our affinity groups are trying to get out in the community and have us be known as well. There are many dedicated individuals trying to better the inclusion and diversity at the school through their work with their affinity groups and it is important to recognize the work and efforts we all put in to have functioning clubs that are a safe place, but a place where we lean into discomfort at times to have meaningful discussion.

Q: Why do you think people go or don’t go to affinity group meetings?

A: I think people do not go to affinity groups for a variety of reasons. One may be that they are not comfortable with that specific group setting. They might also be embarrassed with sharing their ideas on certain topics pertaining to their identity, and it is hard to get people to come out to these clubs.

Q: Why do people join affinity groups with which they don’t identify?

A: I think people join affinity groups that they don’t identify with because it gives them new perspectives to different things in the world. I think they also join the club because it is something they want to be a part of and have an outlet to share their ideas, which might differ from the rest of the group.

Q: What are affinity groups’ spaces and funds, and are they adequate?

A: We make our own funds and it gets us through the year. We usually end up contributing some of our personal money to have the club function, and we are managing our own money. For spaces, we see what room is available in the beginning of the year and what day no clubs are using it, and we claim it as our own.

Q: Why are some Affinity groups shrinking?

A: I think they are shrinking because underclassmen are nervous about joining these groups because it can be intimidating. Upperclassmen do lose interest in going to a club that takes up time from their lunches. Also, it is a possibility that students are not always open to the idea of sharing that aspect of their lives with others and that can affect their participation.

Over the course of a few weeks, I, Zack Mintz, spent time with the affinity groups in the Upper School. Specifically, I met with India Club, Asia Club, Black Student Union (BSU), and Latinos Unidos. Since this project focuses on race, we felt it was necessary to explore how these groups function.

       Based on what I heard, there are a few reasons why students choose not to attend affinity groups. One reason is a lack of knowledge about what affinity groups are and are for. While some students view affinity groups as just a place for support, they in reality offer much more. When I walked into each meeting, it was like entering a new community. I saw members of separate grades who I had never seen interact laughing and joking with one another like close friends. The dynamic between teacher and student blurred; if not for the difference in age, one could have assumed each club’s’ members were homologous based on how they treated one another.

       Many students in the Upper School have the notion that affinity groups exist solely for those who identify with the clubs. This belief is reflected in the demographics of each group’s members; it is rare to find students in meetings who don’t identify racially with the club (although there is crossover for students in these groups who attend multiple affinity groups). While these clubs do function as safe spaces to address and discuss issues and incidents, both personal and general, that affect or have affected members, there is much to be learned by going to these meetings. A huge part of what holds these clubs together is culture. Each club has its own foods, customs, and events that anyone can enjoy regardless of their race.

       I never participated in affinity groups during my four years at the School, and I regret that I didn’t. Though I am Jewish, I was not interested in J-Club because I “didn’t think I needed it,” it being support i.e. the only thing I thought affinity groups offered. Looking back, I could have used the time with other Jews. I have faced a relatively small but significant amount of anti-semitism throughout middle and high school, and I think I could have benefitted from attending J-Club’s meetings, at least a little bit. Moreover, I wish I had gone to other clubs. Each affinity group is so well-knit and intellectual. They discuss real issues and function not too dissimilarly from classes. Instead of expressing individual concerns, students who attend clubs with which they don’t identify can learn in depth about a culture different from theirs and empathize with its members when appropriate and possible. I encourage students who do not go to affinity groups to go to at least one meeting; it’s worth one lunch period, and you just might really enjoy it.

 

 

Filed under Features

An Interview with Luis Terriquez: Being Latino at the School

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Filed under Features

Diversity in Admissions: A Chat With Christian Donovan

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Our first essential question that we consider in an admissions committee meeting is, ‘Do we believe that this student can succeed at Head-Royce?’ and if the answer is no, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what race and ethnicity you are, it doesn’t matter if your parents have given millions of dollars to the school, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the best athlete in the world. If we don’t think you can have success here, we are not going to offer you a spot.” – Christian Donovan

I became a member of the School’s family less than two years ago and in less than a month, I will be leaving for college. Over the course of my short but eventful 18 years, I have switched schools seven times. The 8th switch will come later in August. I have attended a montessori school, a catholic school, a charter school, a boarding school, a private for profit, and private non-profits. Collectively, they represent a wide range of admissions processes. But of all the schools my admissions profile has passed through, the School’s administration and student body as a whole placed the highest value on diversity. Diversity, along with citizenship and scholarship, is even on the school crest. Any school’s diversity can be traced back to one place: its Admissions office.

I first met Christian Donovan, the head of Admissions at the School, two years ago when I first came to campus for an interview and tour. Mr. Donovan, like me, is originally from the east coast. He was the head of Admissions for the George School in Newtown, PA before leaving for the School a few years ago. I have been fortunate enough to have had him as my advisor as a student.

Donovan and his Admissions team are essentially student curators. Beyond the quick facts on the school website’s about page, how does the School’s admissions team approach diversity?

I first wanted to know what he would say to a parent or prospective student about diversity. Donovan loves the fact that diversity is such an integral part of each student’s experience. He noted that because the School is in Oakland, it already has diversity built into its applicant pool, which consists of students who represent varying family styles, races, religions, and learning styles.

We also had the chance to talk about his old job at the George School. The George School had a large push in the 70s for socioeconomic diversity. Despite having only about half as many students as the School does, George School has nearly double our five million dollar financial aid budget. Donovan was quick to point out that the School still has the largest financial aid budget in the Bay Area. He noted, “It’s hard to compare. In some ways I think Head-Royce is ahead of some of those schools I saw, including George School, and in some ways not.” Donovan continued, “Purely from a numbers point of view, Head Royce’s diversity, in terms of race and ethnicity, is much higher than George School’s was even though George made a huge commitment to diversity race and ethnicity. That to me has everything to do with geographic location.” Donovan also mentioned how excited he was to be involved in the school’s strategic plan. Assessing the the financial model of the school is giving him and other administrative officers the chance to air ideas of what an ideal socioeconomic balance of the School would look like.

I wanted to know why he personally valued having a diverse school. Acknowledging the fact that every member of the School’s community could value diversity differently, Donovan offered his personal opinion“Having a diverse community of people just makes life more interesting, and I want to work at a place that is interesting…creating a community where you experience diversity before they go off to college or into the workforce is super valuable for our students.”

Donovan, like me, is still relatively new to the community. Before Donovan came to the School, Kathy Epstein was Head of Admissions. Although Donovan has been at the School for almost three years, his brief time as Head means that many current students were not vetted by an admissions office under his control. So, was there a change in admissions styles that affected the community, especially with regards to diversity? Donovan immediately admitted to having made some changes since he arrived and made it abundantly clear he thought Kathy Epstein did, “a great job and that the School is in large part as successful as it is because of her and a number of other people’s very hard work.” He went on to reveal that, “One of the things [He] discovered about coming to Head Royce was there’s this perception in the community that we’re sorta only for the rich and elite of Oakland and the bay area. As a result of that, people scrutinize us in a certain way. They count how many teslas are driving up and down Lincoln avenue; they look for ways to reaffirm that stereotype…One of the things we have tried to do in the past two-and-a-half years is make the admissions process as welcoming as possible to literally any family.” Donovan noted that the admissions process for applicants who have parents who attended independent schools and colleges is usually not that difficult. However, Donovan expressed, “There are lots of families that call Berkeley and Oakland home that don’t know the first thing about how to put together an application that might lead them to gain entry to Head-Royce.” Before Donovan came to the School, applicants alone were responsible for figuring out the application process. In an effort to ease their burden, the admissions office helps applicants overcome certain obstacles, such as language barriers. Many of the world language teachers and even some parents have volunteered to help applicants and their families do so (most often Spanish and Mandarin). “We don’t have any fewer requirements than we did under my predecessor, but we did make the way you submit those requirements easier for families,” Donovan said. The admissions office cannot reduce or tailor their requirements according to each applicant’s circumstances, but they are “very willing to work with families.”

Donovan gave me an example of this commitment to applicants in action. Every year, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) refuses to let their teachers write letters of recommendation for kids applying to private schools. They cannot do so mainly because of teachers unions that object to the unpaid extra time teachers would have to spend working on recommendations. The OUSD administration annually sends private school admissions offices a statement reminding them of this policy. However, this policy does not mean OUSD kids cannot apply. Instead of barring them from applying all together, Donovan and his admissions team tell OUSD students to ask their teachers for recommendations anyways or to try to get one from someone else. If all else fails, the admissions office may end up waving the recommendation requirement altogether.

But what about the selection process? Will the School’s Admissions team ever ‘target’ a certain race, ethnicity, or other demographic? It turns out that other than trying to maintain 50/50 balance of gender, the Admissions team never ‘targets’ a specific demographic. Donovan reveals that every applicant has to stand up to a crucial piece of scrutiny: “Our first essential question that we consider in an admissions committee meeting is, ‘Do we believe that this student can succeed at Head-Royce?’ and if the answer is no, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what race and ethnicity you are, it doesn’t matter if your parents have given millions of dollars to the school, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best athlete in the world. If we don’t think you can have success here, we are not going to offer you a spot.”

When he said that to me, I quickly responded by asking him to define success. “I don’t think it does anybody any good to have a student come here and get straight Ds.” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to bring someone here who won’t do well socially either… For lower school in particular, we are looking for ability to transition.” Some of this sort of success analysis requires the admissions committee to read into applications or draw upon information gleaned in interviews. Donovan jokingly said, “There aren’t metrics that we look at to see whether or not a student is going to be sitting alone at lunch all the time.”

One of my last questions was about the endowment and whether or not the admissions team ever finds themselves limited by it. Donovan told me that there are different challenges related to recruitment for each division. He claimed, “At the Upper School in particular, I would say we don’t lack the resources. It’s not as though we run out of financial aid, or at least we haven’t in the two years I’ve been here. To me, the bigger issue for us, for high school in particular –and it’s less of an issue for lower and middle school– is attracting a pool of applicants that’s socioeconomically diverse. I think that of the three divisions, the Upper School is the least socioeconomically diverse, which is sorta interesting. I think people don’t necessarily expect that.”

Donovan has demonstrated in his first few years at the School that diversity is paramount when creating a well- rounded student body. He and his team are clearly working diligently to improve the applicant experience and rework the School’s image as a privileged private school. Ease of access is key to keeping a diverse student body.

Filed under Features

Microaggressions at the School

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Microaggressions are often heard in passing as “jokes” or “unserious” comments. However, these seemingly harmless statements can affect people’s experience and perception of you.

Interestingly, when interviewing people around the School, many people of different racial groups noted that they had not noted many microaggressions about them at the School. Most notably though, many students identifying as Asian-Americans expressed frustrations with people’s comments pertaining to their race.

 

Shortly after I was hired, another teacher, sort of offhandedly said, ‘We hired you for diversity reasons!’ and I think they weren’t trying to be mean, they just meant to say, ‘Oh we’re thinking a lot about diversity!’. But the other side of it was: Were they only hiring me because I was Asian and there weren’t any Asians in my department? Was I a token? Was I just there to look like our school cared a lot about diversity? Was there another person who was just as qualified who they didn’t hire because of their race? If I was only hired for my race- that doesn’t make me feel good.”

 

“I had done well on a test and some people were talking to me about how I studied. And then they would ask whether I had a tiger mom. I said no. I think my parents are pretty nice to me. But then they asked me if my parents hit me with bamboo sticks, as if they were imagining some martial arts movie in which my parents trained me by beating me. I just felt that my parents weren’t that kind of person and to have them assumed to be was upsetting.”

 

“So I’m half-Indian, half-Taiwanese, and people tell me: “You must be a super Asian! Because you’re two Asians combined!”

 

“My friends told me: ‘Why are you in regular math. You’re Asian, you should be in honors!’”

 

“People ask me whether I’m super into science and math. I mean I am, but it is not because I am Asian.”

 

“First day of U.S History, we were supposed to talk about what we had in common in table groups. This one guy pulled on his eyes and said that he had things in common with me now.”

 

“I’m half-Asian, and we were at this group with other people. This one guy pointed to someone and said: ‘Hey you’re Asian so you’re two times as smart as me.’ Then he pointed to me and said: ‘You’re half-Asian, so you’re 1.5 times as smart as me.

Just because I’m a certain race doesn’t mean I’m smarter than someone else, and it also doesn’t mean that someone else is smarter than me.”

 

“Because I’m half-Asian, a lot of people assume I am an overachiever and assume I am doing so much more than everyone else, and I just don’t fit that stereotype. It is something I wish people wouldn’t generalize about Asians.

It made me feel as if people are categorizing me as something I’m not. I would say that overachieving comes to your personality, not your race. It makes me feel as if I am being represented wrongly.”

 

“There was one teacher that tried to reassure me that I would do well in her class, but she ended up saying: ‘I’m sure you’ll do well, because all the Asians in my class do well.’

I understand that she was trying to make me feel better, but it actually stressed me out more, as I felt that she had higher expectations for me than everyone else.”

 

“I’m Chinese and I always bring my lunch to school. When I was a freshman, there were certain people who asked me to stop bringing my food to school because it smelled different to them. I felt kinda sad that I couldn’t eat the food I wanted, or the way I wanted, because they wanted me to use forks instead of chopsticks. I just wanted to do things the way I usually did and feel proud of my habits and not have to hide it.”

 

Since much of the media surrounding race centers around the experiences of African-Americans in white America, the prevalence of Asian-Americans in this transcript may surprise many. However, as an Asian-American myself, it is not so surprising. Although the little comments seem funny and unimportant at the time, they add up. One by one, the comments about one’s race and how one is supposed to act because of their race becomes internalized, consciously or not. This is why it is important to shed light onto the experiences of other minorities in the United States. Their struggles might not be as prominently featured on newspaper headlines, but they are just as important.

 

*Disclaimer: The incidents above do not reflect the everyday experiences of a student at Head-Royce. Instead, they are a snapshot of a particular incident that has occurred within their time here. Hopefully this shows that your words and actions can truly have a lasting impact, negative or positive, on someone.

Filed under Features

Teachers on Teaching Race

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Filed under Features

Race Project: Poll

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The presidential election of 2016 has sparked nationwide discussions and issues surrounding race and inclusivity. The conversations have challenged the meaning of race and  showed society how flawed and segregated communities are. I surveyed the Upper School asking various questions about race and tolerance at Head Royce and overall community, and the answers I received provided a variety of eye opening feedback.

What struck me were the responses I received about a question: Do you think race is talked about enough? If not, what is missing? Even though most of the responses I received agreed that race was discussed enough at school, an overwhelming majority also conceded that the discussions were lacking in diversity of thought.  As a whole, these students believe that the conversations at the school are “one dimensional” and only present examples of discrimination with one race.  Some students expressed frustration about the discussions excluding certain ethnic groups and focusing solely on African American discrimination.  They suggested that Head Royce’s discussions include more ethnic groups so there is more diversity of thought.  

There were also a handful of students who believed that the discussions at Head Royce, while abundant, were just that.  Even though the students are constantly listening to the lectures about race, the students believe that action has not been taken within the Head Royce community to eliminate discrimination.

Head Royce’s discussions about race have deeply impacted me.  Before coming to Head Royce, I had not been exposed to issues about race or sexuality, and I believe that the school has done a good job laying down the foundation for change.  However, like some of the students expressed in the poll, I believe that more action needs to be taken in order to be the difference we want to see in the community outside of Head Royce.  As one student concisely puts it, “instead of only criticizing the world as it is now, we should create the world we want to live in.”

 

Leave a Comment
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    Student Feature: Awards and Recognition at the Global Online Academy Catalyst Conference

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Spotlight

    March for Our Lives- A Feature of Student and Faculty Activists at HRS

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    3/14/18 Walkout

    March 14th Walkout Photo Gallery

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    QUIZ: What should your prom dress be based on your everyday style?

  • Features

    Fall TV Shows!!!!

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    Affinity Groups at The School

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    An Interview with Luis Terriquez: Being Latino at the School

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    Diversity in Admissions: A Chat With Christian Donovan

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    Microaggressions at the School

  • Sydney’s Summer Movie Reviews

    Features

    Teachers on Teaching Race

The student news site of Head-Royce School.
Features