The Hawk's Eye

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The HRS Parking Lot of Death

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As more students in the Upper School obtain driver’s licenses, more parking spaces will be required for the increasing amount of cars. The School’s parking lot, however has very limited space and more needed parking spaces does not help with the situation. Adding the inexperience of newly licensed drivers, the School’s parking lot has turned into a terror lot.

Upper School teacher Chris Davies has been teaching at the School for almost 18 years. “I have an assigned tandem spot and about 10 times a year someone parks in it,” said Davies. Especially for teachers like Davies, the inability to find a parking spot in the morning can cause teachers to be late to their classes during the first block of the day. In addition to the teachers, students have had many problems finding and navigating through the parking lot. Senior Gregory Hui drives to school everyday and hopes to find a parking spot every morning.

“There just aren’t enough spaces for everyone, so some people who come later have nowhere to park,” said Hui. Many Seniors who drive have problems with in the parking lot as well. Most of the time, it is either not being able to find a space or someone else parking in somebody’s assigned tandem parking spot.

Including there not being enough parking spaces, the inexperience of many new drivers increases the stress of the parking lot. “It’s hard to leave right after school because cars are trying to leave and come in and it is such a traffic jam,” said Senior Courtney Ng. When people are trying to come down the hill in the parking lot and others are trying to go up, a very bad traffic jam is created. Many drivers complain about having to wait for long times for the traffic jam to dissolve.

Unfortunately, many accidents involving drivers hitting parked cars have occurred in the parking lot too. The School relies on students to uphold the Honesty Policy in reaching out to drivers whose cars have been hit. Despite many accidents being announced at Morning Meeting in the Upper School, some drivers have not been contacted by people who have hit their car.

Although there have been many problems in the School’s parking lot, steps are being taken to resolve those issues. The carpool spaces are present for cars that have multiple people riding in them to reduce traffic congestion in the lot. Hopefully in the future the number of problems people have in the School’s parking lot will be reduced drastically.

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Sign Up For the Annual Upper School Dodgeball Tournament!

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The time has come for the annual Upper School Dodgeball Tournament. On Friday, November 15th, student and faculty teams will take aim at one another in a series of intense matches, all in the hopes of taking home first place. The action will take place at 7:00pm in the gym, and free dinner will be provided for competitors and spectators. So gather up a team, Jayhawks, and get ready to dodge, dip, duck, dive… and dodge.

dodgeball

 

Not sure about the rules? Check it out here!

 

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School Celebrates Citizenship with a Community Tree

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Keeping with this year’s theme of citizenship, the Administration recently launched a new School-wide art project: the citizenship tree. Located in the middle school hallway, the citizenship tree has a trunk and branches made of twisted brown paper. Soon students will attach colored paper leaves to it. On each leaf there will be a K-12 student’s response to the question: What is citizenship to you? The tree’s foliage will slowly expand to display the entire community’s interpretation of citizenship.

Middle and Upper School Art Teacher Ann Murphy stated, “The success of the tree is going to be about everyone taking time to write something meaningful about citizenship and . . . how that word resonates with [them] on a deep[er] level.” This tree symbolizes citizenship in that it requires the whole School to come together as a community to produce a shared result. Murphy added, “[The citizenship tree relies on] all of us working as citizens.”

The tree is looking great already: The Advanced 3D Art class composed of Sophomores Ali Simons, Trevor Chan, Zach Hjort, and Ghena Judge and Junior Alexis Popejoy artfully constructed the trunk and branches during a long block class. Middle and Upper School Art Teacher Emily Miller commented, “Their ease with collaboration and teamwork was lovely to witness.” Murphy added, “[The citizenship tree is] simple and sculptural, and I think that the various shades of green leaves are going to make it very beautiful.” In addition to physical beauty, the citizenship tree also displays symbolic beauty. Murphy expressed, “The message of students writing down what it means to be a good citizen is really beautiful.”

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Halloween Fair Slideshow

Linnea Engstrom
Lower schooler's try out the nerf gun game at the robotics booth.

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The All-School Halloween Fair was once again a huge hit. Students, faculty members, and friends all joined in on the fun. See the slideshow for snapshots of the night.

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G-Eazy Shouts Out the Blondies

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The Blondies are an upcoming band from the East Bay. Made up of five Northern California natives, ages fifteen to seventeen, three of the band members are from Head-Royce. The rockin’ trio includes Seniors Paul Davis and Zak Meghrouni-Brown, and Sophomore Jerome Feist. Zak is lead guitarist, while Paul shreds on the drums, and Jerome rocks the keyboard; all three do vocals. The Blondies have been shredding up stages in places like The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, Salvage and The Freight in Berkeley, and many school concerts, street fairs and benefits for an astounding six years. They have been named and among the official Gibson Guitar Artists, and are the youngest band to have done so. They have released 16-recorded tracks, two of which are covers and 14 original tracks.

The Blondies officially released their first LP this past Saturday, October 19th, at their album release party. Their LP, titledPrince Street, features 11 original full-length tracks. Before their release party, Berkeley native and famous rapper G-Eazy, shouted out the Blondies on twitter. On the 14th of October, G-Eazy tweeted: “everybody in the bay go check out my lil homies @TheBlondiesBand at the new parish this saturdayfor their cd release party”. This tweet most likely brought a lot of good hype and a good crowd to their release party. With this shout out, the already well known Bay Area group will have a lot of new fans.

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Senior’s favorite books

Tommy Cella

Tommy Cella

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Seniors share their favorite books that they read in the Upper School.

Colin Leach said his favorite book was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Rachel Simons also said that her favorite book was The Great Gatsby. “It’s a classic.”

Emily Wong similarly favored The Great Gatsby.

Alejandro Lara stated, “My favorite book that I read while I was at the School was probably Maus, by Art Spiegelman. It was really interesting and I liked how it was a graphic novel so the story was told using words and pictures.”

Thibault Philippine said, “My favorite book I read at the School was The Odyssey. I really liked it; the writing style was really cool.”

Librarian Mary Goglio gathered a list of the last year Seniors’ favorite books. She said that the most commonly mentioned book was the Game of Thrones series, by George R.R. Martin.

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Remembering Mr. Venkat

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On the weekend of October 11th, a tragedy came upon the School when Venkat Seelam, a Support Technician in the Instructional Technology Department, passed away. Venkat, who joined the School community last year, participated in the School’s first Technology Internship Program in summer 2013 and helped with the ERB standardized testing in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms. He was known around the School as “Venk.” Students and faculty who were close to Venkat expressed how he impacted our school community.

 

“Venk was vibrant, hilarious, magnetic, chic, smart, humble, kind, technical, compassionate, athletic, mindful, a star, totally awesome, an educator, engaging, strong, a diva, religious, honorable, a dancer — and he will always be our dear friend.  I would like to add: he also had the best [hair ever].” —Administrative Assistant Stacy Dellinger

 

“Venk was a fellow who enjoyed life – he is renowned (perhaps infamous is a better word) as an exuberant dancer and gastronome. He made sure to take care of folks and helped many here at our school enjoy a good laugh. He always had a wry, somewhat quizzical smile upon his countenance. A very good person, so sad to lose so soon,”  —Administrative Assistant Susan Anderson

 

“Venk will be missed greatly. In a short period of time, he made a deep and positive impact on our school community. He was smart, funny, hard working and a trusted colleague.”  —Head of the School Rob Lake

 

“I knew Venk through the tech office. I worked with him on assignments regarding the tech across the school.  I hear he had a lot of connections; he taught a weekly class to I think 4th graders; he had a relationship with Ms. Bordet, who was teaching him French. I think he kind of brought a mindset and an attitude to the school that not many other people had. I will miss how whenever I saw him I could just kind of relax and not worry about having to sound a certain way or having to be a certain way,”   —Senior Morgan Gillis

 

“Venk was a support technician. He was also doing a lot of stuff with final site, which was the Student Portal and the Teacher Portal and things; he helped with that as well.  He was only here for nine months, and he made a big impression on everyone. He was fun to be around, very talkative and energetic, and never complained. He was just a good guy to work with. It was unfortunate, what happened to him…  you know, people like that can never really be replaced. But he did a lot of good work for the school, and his loss is felt,”   —Chad Bellani, one of Venkat’s fellow Support Technician

 

“I had a great time getting to know Venk when he came to HRS last year. We were able to swap stories of shared experiences we had in South India, where both of our families are from. We would laugh, as I also had to often forward emails to him, as people would mistakenly email me, when trying to contact him (his first name is very close to my last name). I fondly remember how excited he was about the faculty/staff lip-sync last year, and he got into the mood by donning a sari for our Bollywood number. It was such a shock to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers go to Venk’s family and friends,”   —Neethi Venkateswaran

 

“He made all these friendships and great relationships with lots of faculty, and I know that all those [Lower School] students got a kick out of him.  He was just always, he was consistently in a good mood. His greatest impact, I think, was just his personality. He was a good person to be around, and to work with, and to flip that around, it’s hard, right, like if you’re, maybe not your close friend on campus, but someone you see in the hallways every day, like you spend a lot of time at school, right, more time than you spend hanging out with a sibling, or with a parent, so a good attitude goes a long way.  For me personally, I just wish I had the opportunity to get to know him better.  That’s on a selfish level, right, like I’d like to get to know him more, but clearly it’s just devastating for his family, and it’s just a terrible situation,”  —Systems Administrator Dave Levin

Venkat was a good man and a fun person to be around, and even though he was only with the School for about nine months, he left a very big impression on the community.  He will be missed dearly.

Filed under News, Showcase

Preview: 2013 Halloween Fair

Math+Teacher+Ms.+V+at+the+2012+Halloween+Fair.
Math Teacher Ms. V at the 2012 Halloween Fair.

Math Teacher Ms. V at the 2012 Halloween Fair.

Linnea Engstrom

Linnea Engstrom

Math Teacher Ms. V at the 2012 Halloween Fair.

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On October 25th, the Halloween Fair will steal first place on the agenda of fun events. Every year students dress up after school and help create booths for the whole school to enjoy. Each club is in charge of a booth, and the funds they raise are available for their use throughout the year. Some crowd favorites include face painting, dunk tank for teachers, doughnut on a string, the cakewalk, and the haunted house. New Freshman Sam Oshay said excitedly, “I’m excited for the Halloween Fair; I don’t really know what to expect. I heard that we can ‘whack a frosh’ [a booth where you can whack a freshman]” Sophomore Representative Nick Tintoc responded, “So far, the Sophomores are planning to have three booths. One of them is going to be skeeball, which is a common arcade game. The second one is going to be racing cars around a track, and the other one, is going to be guess the cup, where we are going to put something in the cup and mix it around.” Junior Karan Rai added, “I think the Halloween Fair is going to be pretty fun, mostly because I’ll be helping plan it. Better than last year I hope.”

The Upper School Dean, Barry Barankin, is the man who oversees the entire operation. Barry stated, “The Halloween Fair has always been fun. The booths are mostly done by clubs, so it depends on which clubs are doing them. The fair doesn’t really improv; it was always good and it is still good. I have not yet heard of any new booths yet, but I still have forms coming in. Most of the time, the Haunted House it a big hit. It is really creative and a lot of fun. I would say the biggest part of the Fair is the comfort of it; in other words, it is something we have done forever.” From what the Hawk’s Eye has heard, this Halloween Fair should be the best and spookiest fair yet, with new booths, great food, and activities planned for all ages.

Filed under Features, Showcase

Walking Out On the Walkathon?

Runners+signing+up.
Runners signing up.

Runners signing up.

Alejandro Lara

Alejandro Lara

Runners signing up.

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On Saturday, October 5th, the School hosted its eighth annual Heads Up Walkathon. Although the Walkathon is a K-12 event, the participation of upper school students in the past few years has been sadly mediocre– last year, only 14 upper school students attended. As an attempt to encourage more upper school attendance at this year’s Walkathon, multiple rewards were presented as incentives during a recent upper school assembly. The grade level with the most Walkathon participants gets to select a grade level dean to perform a song and dance in front of the high school, and the advisory with the most participants gets to choose their seating location in the MEW. These rewards were effective enough to rally more upper school students to the Walkathon than usual, though still not an exceptional number of upper school attendees.

Sophomore Nick Tintoc shared his thoughts on the lack of upper school students at the Walkathon. Tintoc stated, “The main reason students do not come to the event is because they are unwilling to give up three hours of their Saturday [to] the School when they could be doing other things such as sleeping.” Many students at the School agreed with this statement, saying that they could think of many more ways to spend their Saturday, all of which would be more enjoyable than attending the Walkathon. This hesitation to attend the Walkathon is often due to the lack of high school participants. Sophomore Natalie Hartman confessed, “I didn’t go to the Walkathon because none of my friends went, and going by myself didn’t sound very enjoyable.” This unfortunate chain reaction prevents the Walkathon from having a large turnout from upper school students. Therefore, Tintoc stated that “the best solution to get more people at the Walkathon is to make it more well known that the event is a fun way to spend a Saturday and a great way to give back to the community.” Popularizing the Walkathon and improving its reputation in the upper school would likely be more effective than various incentives to encourage upper school participation.

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Snapshots from the Heads-Up Walkathon

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On Saturday, October 5th, the School community once again got together in support of the Heads-Up program. Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, teachers, staff, and parents walked, ran, and skipped in the support of the School’s education and enrichment program for Oakland public school youth.

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Meet the New Student Council

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        Our student council members have a bigger responsibility than one may think. Each grade has their own student council representatives that go to a meeting once or twice a week to represent for their grade. There will be Freshmen elections for representatives next week on Thursday. The Sophomore representatives are Jacqueline Cheng, Emma Levine, and Nicholas Tintoc. The Junior representatives are Andy Pelos and Karan Rai. Lastly, the Senior representatives are Emily Wong and Andy Pelos, with our School Presidents, Thomas Peterson and Dylan Carlson. The Hawks Eye talked to at least one representative from each grade on how long they personally have been in student council, why they like it, and what they do for the School.

        Levine, who was also involved with ninth grade student council last year said, “This is my first year on upper school student council. As one of the 10th grade reps, I’m really excited to help voice the opinion of the 10th grade, plan fun activities and events, and work to make changes happen around the school.”

     Tintoc, who also is in student council for the second year, answered positively, “ I really enjoy student council because it gives me the chance to voice my opinion and create a positive effect in the School community. So far, the reps have created the dining and cabin groups for Fallout and we have planned the events that we want to have throughout this upcoming School year. In addition, we listen to the feedback that our grade has in order to figure out what they truly want and what would make them the most content. This position is more fun than people think. It’s not just going to boring meetings. Instead, it’s going to exciting meetings and having discussions that have the ability to make a change in the community and make School a more exciting place for everyone in the grade.”

        “I’ve been doing student council since eighth grade, and in eighth grade, I was the class president with Mazvita Nyamuzuwe. I enjoy doing student council, as sappy as it sounds, because it’s a wonderful way to get involved with what is happening in your grade,” Cheng explained. “For example, if I want to have a movie night I’m right in the mist and I can plan events like that. It is a really easy way to get involved and also, when you’re on student council, people will listen to your opinion and inputs while they plan events. In student council, my main role is to plan and execute events that the sophomore grade may have.”

“This is my first year serving in the Class of 2015 student council, but I’m exhilarated to begin. I like taking a leadership position in the planning and organization of School events and have had some experience in this area because I served on Diversity Council last year (I am also on Diversity Council this year),” Pelos mentioned. “I’m excited to take on the responsibility of helping to make everything run smoothly this School year!”

“This is my first year in student council. I’ve enjoyed it so far, because I’ve gotten to collaborate with some of my classmates to make the senior year the best it can be. From organizing activities at Fallout, to discussing how the class of 2014 is going to leave with a bang, Stuco [a nickname for student council] has been great. As a rep, I go to a two meetings a week, and collaborate with all School student council as well as twelfth grade student council. Stuco is awesome,” exclaimed Wong.

Being a student representative is no easy task, but as all the reps said, it’s also a fun way to get involved and plan events for your grade.

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Community Service Board

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Community service is an important aspect to the School’s mission and is even a gradation requirement. The Community Service Board (CSB) specializes in all things community service and exhibits the importance of service throughout the students’ high school careers. Club Facilitator Naoko Akiyama explained that CSB is a “select group of students who are interested in service and in promoting service within our School.” Responsibilities of the members include promoting service, advertising service, creating new service opportunities, and maintaining connections.

The club is always working on new projects and ways to improve. For example, two years ago, the members of the club made a big change by eliminating Action Plans. In an Action Plan, students would research community service programs at different schools across the United States. They would then select the ones that could work at the School and create a whole new service program from what they learned. Upper School Head Carl Thiermann explained, “The philosophy behind [Action Plans] was that students gain more by committing to a single organization and doing community service for two or three years supporting one cause only.” However, the comity later realized that this was only true if students could maintain those connections, which was tremendously difficult with their busy schedules. Thiermann further commented, “The Action Plan was a great idea in theory, but it was very hard to make it succeed long term.”

A group of passionate students who wanted to oversee community service founded the CSB. At first, requirements were very extreme, but they were soon reduced because many students could not uphold these demanding requirements due to other time consuming commitments. Board members also had to find more local opportunities and opportunities on the School’s campus to take in account those students who could not travel elsewhere. Akiyama mentioned, “CSB is not only interest-based, but action oriented,” and to join the club, students must apply and be accepted. In the Board’s early years, they had elections to determine who could be on the Board. After a few years, this form of admittance was eradicated because many students who were interested could not join because they would have to run against someone else. Nonetheless, all members of CSB are passionate about service and understand the importance of being an active member in the School’s community.

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