The Hawk's Eye

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Are Interims Important?

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Coinciding with the end of the first quarter, Interims, were sent out to the students on Tuesday. Some believe that Interims are unimportant and simply exist to notify students about their grades. Most think they are essential in understanding how to improve as a student. According to freshman Sydney Stewart, “Interims are fine if your teachers check in with you. I think that a lot of times, when a teacher tells you their reasoning behind a grade, it helps. But sometimes, if you just see the grade, it can be stressful.” It seems that communication is key when teachers give constructive criticism. Some students, if they do not check in with their teachers prior to receiving interims, can be shocked and disgruntled by their grades. These students will fail to read the comments written by their teachers, defeating the purpose of Interims. Teacher and Student Dean Barry Barankin, love Interims. Although he acknowledges they are a challenge to write, he believes they are helpful to students and their parents: “Interims are one of the tangible things that parents pay a lot of money for. What they are really paying for is a great education. By knowing that every teacher is going to write something about your kid in his or her class, it supports parents.” Parents may love Interims, but they can still be stressful for some students. For first semester seniors who are applying to college as early action or early decision applicants those grades matter. The grades are sent to colleges as if they were first semester grades for regular decision applicants. This fact can be shocking to seniors who are still getting into the rhythm of a new year. Senior Kristina Randrup echos this sentiment: “Interims are helpful to track your grades, but if you are a senior they are super important, it can be really stressful.” Whether they seem unimportant or are an essential part of your college application, Interims have a role in all students’ lives.

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Halloween Costumes

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A good Halloween costume is hard to find. Often the best costumes are homemade. But for those of us who do not have time, the store is usually the only option. Costumes, however, can cost up to 70 dollars, and the material is usually cheap. But when you are pressured down to the last minute to come up with something often people just turn to what is already in their closets. These costumes are easy to make because you probably have most of the items already, but most importantly, they are creative. So here is the article for the person who wants to look great on Halloween, but doesn’t want to pay the prices of time and money.

Emoji

Emoji You text with them, but now you can dress like them. Honestly, you could probably just go to Forever 21 or Hot Topic and find an emoji top and pair it with matching pants. But where’s the fun in that? All you really need is a yellow top and some colorful duct tape to match your favorite emoji’s face. And if you are feeling really daring, you can dress up as the twin emoji.

Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe

Costume

This classic painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol is one of the most iconic works of art. The combination of art and artist is the perfect costume for friends or couples. For Monroe all you really need is colorful face paint to make the painting and some curlers for the iconic Monroe hair. For Warhol just a classic all black look and some crazy blonde hair. This look is perfect for the creative and for extra credit in Ms. Krier’s classes.

Baymax

Baymax

If you feel like channeling your inner child, Baymax is the way to go. Big Hero 6 is an underrated Disney movie and because of that it is likely not to have as many costumes as Frozen or the Lion King. Also, Baymax is easy to do. All you need is white clothing and a pillow to stuff under your shirt. For the final touch, you can either paint your face white or find a mask and you’re done!

Grease

Sandy From GreaseMost period pieces are limited to the flapper and go-go girls. But in dressing up as Sandy or Danny from grease, you combine the classics look from the 60’s and 50’s. if you go for the too-cool-for-school look all you need is either tight black pants and a rocking black jacket. If you want the “good student” look just find a poodle skirts and a baseball jacket. You can make the skirt easily at home with a circle skirt and some felt to glue on. Then just find a cardigan or a baseball jacket and khakis.

Bat

BatNow everyone knows the go to backup Halloween costume is a cat or just wearing all black and a scary mask. But now everyone can still have the ease and no worries without everyone knowing they did not try. All you need is black clothing and an old black sheet to quickly cut up for wings. Just staple or tape the wings onto a jacket or top and you are good to go. Finally, if you want a final touch, go out and buy some vampire fangs to give the costume a scary look.

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Fantasy Basketball

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It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors, the birds are singing their tunes, the children are laughing. No, it’s not the holidays; it’s even better, Fantasy Basketball Season!

That’s right; it’s the moment we have all been waiting for. No more mock drafts, no more preseason games: it’s time for the real thing. Experts and amateurs alike are finishing up their final days of research before attempting to draft a team that could quite possibly win them the title of their respective leagues. Everyone thinks they have a shot at winning this year. Indeed, it will be “the year” for many, yet for other, less fortunate players, there will be no trophy. For these poor losers, there will be no pride, no bragging rights– only contempt and mockery from their fellow league members. Everyone wants to win, but there must always be a loser. It is a law of nature. In this article, I will help you not lose your league (no promises).

The first step to creating a winning team is the team’s name. There a few different ways to go about making the perfect team name. If they are not well thought out, then team names can trigger pre-season mockery which you do not want going into the start of the season, for if your team is the laughing stock of the league before the start of week one, then you have no chance of winning. The classic team name of a good fantasy basketball team is a pun based off of the name of one of your best players. For example, if you have Blake Griffin, a good team name could be, “Blake Griffindor”. Or, if you have Danilo Gallinari, you could name your team, “Fried Gallinari” (instead of fried calamari). If you do not want to name your team after one player, you can always name it after another member of your league to poke fun at them, such as: “My Grandma Can Beat Jake At Fantasy Basketball”. You can also be more creative by crafting a pun based on one of your friend’s names. If you have a person named Paul in your league, “He’s APAULling at Fantasy Basketball” is a wise choice. (The team names in my league are quite vulgar, but because this article is for school, I cannot give you innapropriate examples). Usually, you want to avoid using your own name for your team. I’m just saying, if your mother’s maiden name is Rafanelli, do not do something like “Rafanelli Rage”. An Alliteration usually is not funny, and in this case, it definitely isn’t. It is hard to go wrong with your team name, but as long as you don’t have something as terrible as “Rafanelli Rage”, you should be fine.

The second part to creating a winning team is the good luck charm. Every good fantasy basketball player has one. You can go the traditional luck charm route and acquire a rabbit’s foot or a horseshoe, but the best luck charms are more personalized. You can use a signed jersey of your favorite player, although they have to be on your team; otherwise, throw that jersey away. Whatever it is, you should always keep your good luck charm with you during fantasy basketball season, and whatever you do, do not let your fellow league members get their hands on it. Many people don’t have a good luck charm and are still successful. How, you may ask? Their luck does not come from inanimate objects: it comes from something in a higher place. They get their luck from worshipping their league’s trophy. They pray to it, offer sacrifices to it, and if their devoutness pleases the trophy, it will grant them good fortune in their matchups. I have presented good examples on how to gain some extra luck for your league, but each good luck charm is unique to the person, so you ultimately have to find it on your own.

The third and final step to creating a perfect fantasy team is in the research. This requirement may seem like the most boring part, but without it your team will be nothing. You cannot simply rely on ESPN’s fantasy rankings. If you do, you will be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. Firstly, you need at least three different sets of rankings from three different websites. Next, you need to participate in some online mock drafts: after all it has been a year since you last drafted. After this you need to watch training sessions and preseason games. These games do not necessarily display how a player will perform in the upcoming season, but they will demonstrate each player’s style, which will show how they mesh with their teammates. After this research, you must use your knowledge to create a ranking of your own. You will finally then be ready to draft.

I have helped you all I can, gifted you with as many tips as I have. All that is left to say is, good luck, and godspeed.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to spreading awareness of the danger posed by the disease.  Most people are aware of breast cancer, but many neglect to check for early signs of the disease or remind others to do the same.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be observed in a number of ways besides remembering to check yourself.  The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers opportunities to design an Early Detection Plan, provides information about breast cancer, and sponsor fundraisers to help women in need get mammograms.  The organization aims “to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.”

Only a small percentage of young women develop breast cancer, but even this small percentage is significant.  According to the Young Survival Coalition, “It is estimated that more than 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger are living in the U.S. today. More than 13,000 young women will be diagnosed this year.”  While risk is lower for young women, it is by no means nonexistent, so it is still important to stay aware and check yourself regularly.

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Are You Feeling Distracted This Fall?

ADHD symbol conceptua;l design isolated on white background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symbol conceptual design

www.brainbalancecenters.com

ADHD symbol conceptua;l design isolated on white background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symbol conceptual design

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Written by Lisa loomer, this year’s fall play, “Distracted”, tells the story of a boy named Jesse, who has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and how he and his family adjust to his learning difference. The play tackles challenging subjects, such as mental health and learning style. Throughout “Distracted” each of the actors breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience to signify that they are all “distracted” in some way. To build an understanding of ADHD, Kathleen Ray, the director of the play, asked learning specialist Peatra Redfield and therapist Rachel Concannon to lead a dialogue with the actors. When asked what he thought of the play’s theme, Harrison Harvey (Jesse) said, “I think it’s great. It is a topic that a lot of people don’t talk about. I love being able to be a catalyst of a conversation for someone else struggling with those issues.” Ray agrees with Harvey and believes that “Distracted” has the power to affect many in the community: “It is interesting how it speaks to a lot of kids because I think they really see themselves in some of these characters.” Senior Emma Levine agrees: “The play also feels especially relevant to the Head-Royce community; I think most students have had some experience with either learning differences or simply trying to find strategies that best fit their individual needs as learners.” The play is intended to shock and teach its viewers about the challenges of being diagnosed with a learning difference. In addition, it also explores the concept of parenthood by raising important questions about what it means to be a good parent. Levine plays the role of Jesse’s mother and believes that , “Her [character’s] way of moving through life feels very similar to my own, and her positivity in the face of difficult situations and her dedication to her child are very inspiring to me.” Ray believes “Distracted” has the perfect marriage of comedy and poignancy: “Theater is supposed to provoke, and I think it definitely does provoke conversations between kids and all of us about all these issues.” It should be noted that this is a modern play which uses inappropriate language, so it is rated PG-13; viewer discretion is advised.

 

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Something’s Fishy

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Among lovers of the outdoors, the Bay Area is notoriously “sharky”. Many surfers and sailors can speak to the presence of Great White Sharks, which patrol the San Francisco Bay and the surrounding coast. What they don’t know, is the likelihood of falling victim to the so-called “men in grey suits” has increased dramatically in the last two months.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoor writer Tom Stienstra, multiple factors have all come together to make shark attacks in and around the Bay Area more likely. Last week, the ocean temperature in San Francisco reached 64 degrees, thanks to El Niño, a weather pattern characterized by the warming of ocean temperatures in the Pacific. This temperature is five degrees warmer than the average temperature for mid-October, and large sharks often flock to warmer waters, especially during the fall.

This past summer, the California coast generated an abundance of marine riches, such as krill, anchovies, and mackerel. Fish-eating ocean dwellers will swim hundreds of miles to feast on the small creatures, and sharks are at the top of the food chain.

As a result, more sharks are now congregating in the Bay. During the 1990s, scientists estimated anywhere between 200 to 400 great white sharks inhabited the San Francisco coast. Recently, 10 scientists conducted a study that found there are now around 2,400 great white sharks in the same area. Slight difference.

Just last Saturday, on October 10th, tourists watched from a dock on Alcatraz as a large shark devoured a seal in a bloody frenzy. From a video captured by spectators, experts believe it was a great white shark approximately eight-to-ten feet in length. According to David McGuire, Director of the San Francisco-based shark conservation group Shark Stewards and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, “This [attack] is the first recorded predation event I know of in the San Francisco Bay.”

In the last century, the Bay Area has experienced only 70 shark attacks, solely one of which was fatal. On May 7th, 1959, 18-year-old college student Albert Kogler Jr. met a great white shark at Baker Beach while swimming with classmate Shirley O’Neill. Kogler Jr. suffered lacerations and puncture wounds, from which he did not recover. O’Neill, who stayed close to Kogler throughout the attack and pulled him 50 yards to shore, received the Young American Medal for Bravery in 1961 from President John F. Kennedy and the Carnegie Heroism Medal in 1960.

Despite the increased chances of running into sharks on the water, the odds of being seriously injured or killed are still low. 90 percent of humans bitten by great white sharks survive, and many more shark attack victims walk away with minor injuries often treated right at the beach.

When it comes to sharks, it is important to recognize their existence and the dangers they present, but only so much. Sharks’ maleficent nature stems from their glorification in the media thanks to movies like “Jaws” or “Sharknado.” These stereotypes encourage misconceptions about sharks, which keep many would-be beach goers out of the Bay Area’s waters. There is little that can be done to prevent shark attacks from happening, other than staying out of the water completely. Yet California’s oceans and beaches are among of the main reasons so many people flock to its coasts, so for those of us who cannot bear neglecting the ocean, the danger presented by sharks is too small to remain on land. 

 

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Clubs Assembly

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With the first three weeks of classes in the books, it is safe to say that the students and faculty are back in the swing of things at the School. Other than not being able to wake up after 1:00 p.m. every day, September at the School means one important event: the Clubs Assembly.

The Clubs Assembly is a rare occasion on which all the clubs and affinity groups at school are able to present themselves in one space. Whether you are a Senior (cue the obnoxious cheers and stomping) or a Freshman, the Clubs Assembly includes something new every year. The 2015 edition was no different, as a grand total of 46 clubs presented during the brief 40 minute Assembly period. The presentations ranged from Zen club, a quiet and calm space for meditation enthusiasts, to Coptic Crew, a group for fellow minded readers of ancient Egyptian literature.

Upper School Academic Dean Barry Barankin said that the Assembly “overall went very smoothly. [They] only had to ding people two or three times, which is way better than it used to be.” Barankin credited the success of the Assembly to the fact that most clubs were informational in the time they were allotted to speak. In addition to the Assembly itself, Barankin thought that the Clubs Fair from two weeks ago added another dimension to the Clubs Assembly. Barankin said that it was a great opportunity for “especially the new kids to find out what clubs are at the School and [in] what they are interested.”

With another Clubs Assembly done and a new school year fully underway, it is only left to see how many clubs are still active come April. In his experience Barankin said that only “50 to 60 percent of clubs are active by that time.” Perhaps the 46 clubs this year will take on the challenge of raising that number!

If you were unable to attend to Clubs Assembly or simply do not remember the names and meeting times of all 46 clubs, fear not! If you click this link, you will be taken to a list with the names of all the clubs, their meeting times, and the contact information for each club’s presidents.

School Efforts In Face of Drought

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 As California enters its fourth year of an excruciating drought, the School plans to perform an inspection to target higher water-use areas on campus, furthering its efforts to increase water conservation in the near future.

Past measures the School has taken to save water have consisted of planting drought-tolerant landscaping and using a low-flow drip irrigation system. Furthermore, a few years ago the School installed low-flow toilets, along with timed faucets that cut off water flow after a number of seconds to ensure that water is not left running wastefully. Spanish Teacher and Green Team Advisor Laura Galligan also requested that “if [students] see a sink or toilet not behaving properly, [they] should [report] these [malfunctions] so that we’re not wasting water.”

A more recent change that was enacted in last spring was that Maintenance “found and repaired [an underground leak, which] had been there for [about 10 years],” Lower School Science Teacher and Green Council member Debra Harper reported. “We probably have saved thousands of gallons a day of water [from] finally fixing that leak.” Students traveling up and down the stairs leading from the upper basketball courts to the softball diamond may have noticed that the steps that used to always be wet are now dry.

The Green Council, a committee dedicated to making the School as ecologically friendly as possible, also plans to perform a water audit this fall. This will consist of a school-wide inspection of all of the facilities in the School that use water. “[The audit] will allow us to be able to see which buildings and which [parts] of campus are using the most water so that we can then pinpoint our highest needs and be able to make adjustments if we’re finding that a particular division or a particular part of campus [is] using more water,” Harper described. “We can address that [need] and reduce selectively.” The Green Council members plan to complete their audit before December.

As for students, there are several measures we can take both on and off campus to conserve. “One [senior] just suggested … taping over the automated toilets, so you cannot flush the toilet too many times,” commented Green Team leader and Environmental Ombudsman Senior Quincey Mulligan. “I think small measures like that, if they’re really taken seriously by a large amount of people, can have a really big impact.” Other small measures students can take at home consist of flushing only solid waste, taking three- to five-minute showers, refraining from watering lawns,  and collecting water in a bucket when waiting for showers to warm, which can be used to water the plants you can’t bear to let die, or to flush the toilet.

But there are also other less obvious changes students can make to their habits to conserve more water. “Reducing our use is more than just turning off the faucet when we’re brushing our teeth,” Harper stated. “We can actually reduce our use by not driving as much, because manufacturing gasoline uses water.” Additionally, as the agriculture and manufacturing sector drink up much of California’s water, students should buy fewer manufactured goods and eat food that do not require as much water to produce. “We reduce our water use when we make purchasing decisions: whether we’re buying new items that have been manufactured or foods that have been packaged … all of our buying habits and our everyday habits [can be traced] back to water use,” Harper continued. “Eating meat, for example—every hamburger you eat has taken over a thousand gallons of water to produce, so by choosing to eat less meat, you’re actually saving water.”

Mulligan also suggested performing a water audit on your own household. “One thing that’s very important in knowing how to save water at home is to know how much water you are using,” Mulligan stated. “There’s a lot of water audits online that you can find; you can also talk to [Biology Teacher Eugene Vann] to get a worksheet … [that] gives you an idea on how much water your household uses per day, and then, once you know that, it’s really easy to see where you might be failing in your home.”

“I know that individuals in California have done a really good job conserving water; the efforts that we’ve been asked to make have yielded results, [which] gives me hope for our species,” Galligan said. “Because it means that when people understand that something is really a problem, they’re actually willing to take ownership and responsibility for that problem, and that’s a beautiful thing.” Although the end of the drought is not yet nigh, by being more mindful of water use and following the suggestions above, we can help conserve more of this precious, life-giving resource.

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Drama 2 Presents: The Maltese Falcon

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On May 21st, the Drama 2 class performed the classic radio play The Maltese Falcon at lunch for a small audience gathered in the Expos Room.  The play, based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel (and the well-known film), was recorded live; the production is below for your listening pleasure.

Act One:

Act Two:

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SAT Subject Test Study Tips

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SAT Subject Test Books

Saturday, June 6th is rapidly approaching as the school year winds down. For most freshmen at the School, this date does not signify anything important, other than being one of the first days of summer vacation. For the seniors, June 6 is the day many have been waiting for ever since they came to the School: graduation. Unfortunately, for many sophomores and juniors whose Senior friends are graduating, their plans to watch the ceremony may need to change. This is because June 6th is the last day of the 2014-2015 school year that the College Board is administering the SAT Subject Tests.

If you are a sophomore or junior reading this article and you are taking at least one subject test, I hope this information is not news to you: test day is in just over a week! Although some students have been studying for months, many have not started studying ye. Regardless,, here are some tips that will help you to achieve a better score on your exams.

1) Buy a prep book.

This is probably the most important step out of all, because test prep books provide great coverage of all the material that you need to know for the subject tests. In addition, test prep books can also cover information that many teachers may not have covered during the school year. Obtaining a test prep book is fairly easy, as most are easily available on Amazon. For those who have Amazon Prime, the books will ship to your house within two days! If Amazon is not a viable option, most teachers have materials that you can use to prepare. Many upperclassmen have lightly used test prep books that they and may be willing to sell them at a cheap price or even give to you for free!

2) Make a schedule.

Although it may not look like time is on your side at the moment, try to maximize the time you have to prepare for your exam. The best way to do this is to make a study schedule. Set a goal, such as finishing one chapter in your prep book or studying for an hour without getting distracted. If you plan out your study schedule, trust me, a stressful cloud of an uncertain study plan will not continue to hover over you.

3) Practice, practice, practice.

Take as many practice tests as possible before you take your exams. The one hour time frame allotted for the tests can sometimes pressure many students to rush. If you develop a comfortable and efficient working pace during practice tests, it will serve you well during the exam. If you are lucky, similar types of questions may show up on your actual test, so the more types of problems you expose yourself to, the higher the probability that you will score higher.

4) R-E-L-A-X

I cannot stress how important this step is. Now, I am not saying that you should toss your prep book across your room and take a five hour nap. You should maintain a healthy balance of studying and breaks. On the day before the exam, do not cram too much. The best thing to do is to briefly go over key concepts. The more relaxed you are leading up to the exam, the better your brain will function.

Good luck on all of your subject tests! Just know that once you walk out of your testing centers Saturday morning, summer has officially started!

 

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Study Snacks

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Summer is quickly approaching, but as students at the School all know, such means the return of spring finals. As we head into our last weekend of the school year and force ourselves to hit the books once more, here are some study snacks to keep you alert and focused as you study. And at the very least, taking time to make snacks feels like a form of productive procrastination.

  1. Apples and Peanut Butter: This age-old classic is sure to keep you feeling energized from one cram session to the next. Other varieties of nut butter are equally delicious! Alternatively, try apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.
  2. Frozen Yogurt-Covered Blueberries: So I haven’t actually tried these yet, but I saw the idea on Pinterest, so I know they’ll be a success. Actually, though, for this snack all you have to do is dip blueberries in yogurt, pop them on a tray of some sort (wax sheet recommended), and then stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  3. Cheese and Crackers: Another classic! This snack is easily personalized with your choices of preferred cheese and crackers. Even though preparation for this snack is literally just putting things on a plate, if you’re really too lazy (sorry, *too drained from studying) to make these yourself, buy them from the Cafe on study day!
  4. Dark Chocolate: Milk chocolate is also fine, but each bite of dark chocolate contains more antioxidants and less sugar than its milk chocolate equivalent. Lupin was right in the Harry Potter series when he gave students chocolate as an antidepressant; it actually can boost your endorphins and thus relieve stress. Plus, the slight jolt of caffeine can help you actually be as productive as you tell your parents you are.
  5. Trail Mix: Like cheese and crackers, trail mix is great because you can customize it just to your liking. Your favorite combination of nuts, dried fruits, small pieces of candy, etc. is a super easy way to stay full and focused. Plus, if you make a big batch on Friday then you can stress-eat more efficiently all weekend!

Good luck, students, and hang in there! Summer is sooner than you think!

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Art in the Upper School

Luis Terriquez
An unfinished work of art from a student in the art classes. As one can tell, it is a remarkable work of art even though it is not done.

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