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Students suffer tedium from too many tests

(From left to right) Rodrigo Servin, Samuel Lee, Marco Jawili, Dillon Charles work diligently on their Little Big History project about Carbon. Through their research, the group has learned that the airframe of the Boeing 787 is composed of 50% carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
Photo By: Sam Hart

As the final school day on 20 Jun. 2018 creeps closer, teachers must test students on the class material they’ve been working on throughout the year. While some teachers may choose to do a traditional final exam, some teachers at RAHS have chosen to test their students with unique projects.

One of these teachers is Brandyn Mannion, whose chemistry class gave a presentation on air quality to end their gases unit.
“I basically gave them the direction that they needed to design an experiment, any experiment, around air quality,” said Mannion, “and the onus was on [students] to literally design any experiment that interested them on whatever topic they found most interesting, and prove to me that they know how to design an experiment.”

Mannion wanted a breather from all the tests he’s given.

“We’ve done tests before so why not do something different?” said Mannion.

Sophomore Mollie Brombaugh enjoyed the professional aspect of the projects

“I thought it was interesting to have to consider and plan a project from the [point of view] of an industry professional/researcher,” said Brombaugh, “and I liked the opportunity to choose and research something that interested you.”

Although a creative project allows for students to shape their learning, that opportunity can also be a challenge.

“For some students it’s really difficult because it is so open-ended,” said Mannion. “I’ve had some students spin their wheels in the mud, so to speak, because they’re like ‘where do I start? What is it I wanna do?’”

Brombaugh agrees with Mannion regarding the difficulties.

“What I found most challenging was actually to choose a topic to research,” said Brombaugh. “Determining a topic to focus on and an appropriate guiding question proved to be rather difficult with such a broad scope and little direction.”

Another class which uses an imaginative final is Big History, taught by Jacob Savishinsky and Michelle Juarez. Through the Little Big History project, freshmen explain the story of a topic they choose from the beginning of the universe to the modern day.

“The Little Big History project attempts to encapsulate all of what [students] have learned so it should be a test of how well they’ve understood the course and to see how they can build on that knowledge,” said Juarez.

Although the project thoroughly encapsulates the Big History skills of reading, writing, and researching, it comes with some challenges: namely, Wikipedia.

“For me, a major hurdle is when we talk about scholarly resources,” said Juarez. “I can direct [students] to the King County Library System but everybody wants to use Wikipedia; it’s fast and easy.”

The project is more than a traditional research paper; it compels students to see how their topic has affected humanity as a whole.

“It’s a real thesis project,” said Juarez. “It’s not just researching the B-52 bomber, it’s trying to understand how the B-52 has changed as technology has improved over time. That’s what I’m hoping they get out it, that they kind of see the bigger picture; how humans have changed the nature of the world.”

Big History student and freshman Marco Jawili is doing his Little Big History project on the carbon molecule. Jawili chose to research carbon because of its application in technology.

“I enjoy basically researching stuff that I didn’t know in the past,” said Jawili. “I knew carbon had a lot of potential with technology but I didn’t know there was a thing called carbon nanotubing which is basically a super strong material and that was really cool to learn about.”

Jawili believes projects that utilize student creativity capture students attention more than simply studying for a test.

“I feel like with a project you become more engaged with the topic because you get to choose in the end what you wanna research and Mr. Sav always makes a point; ‘surround your research with things that interest you. Research what you wanna learn about,’ and I really like that concept,” said Jawili. “It helps you learn more and it helps you have the knowledge stick with you so I feel like that’s way better than just doing a test.”

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Paine Field development promises commercial expansion

Paine Field’s first commercial airport expansion is currently under development by Propeller Airports, an airport development company that focuses on catering to niche markets, providing an alternative to the crowded hallways of larger airports. The development is the result of pioneering efforts by Propeller, which seeks to expand into more regional markets.

“I think this will be the nicest terminal in the United States,” said Propeller CEO Brett Smith. “We’re going to operate 24 flights per day to 20 destinations, with room for roughly 1800 passengers.”

Smith has been interested in aviation since childhood. Opening privatized airports are a natural progression of his passion and the Pacific Northwest provides a great environment for him to do so.

“The people of this county and the people in this state know that the only way forward is to break new ground,” said Smith. “This was supposed to be the airport for Seattle, and here we are 80+ years later, as it was originally intended to be.”

Before being used for military development during WWII, and later by Boeing’s commercial aircraft business, Paine Field had been intended as a passenger airport, similar to Sea-Tac today. Although the size of the facility will be significantly smaller than Sea-Tac. Smith believes that it will be a more luxurious experience.

“Why are we using taxpayer money to fund [the development of airports which] could be done successfully, even better, by the private sector?” said Smith. “It is in my best interest to charge the airlines as least as possible to encourage passengers to use my airport. Ticket prices should be similar to Sea-Tac departures.”

Even though the ticket prices are estimated to be similar to that of Sea-Tac, the new terminal will have amenities that are impossible at larger airports. Designed to be similar to a hotel, it will feature a focus on customer service that is unmatched in other airports.

“There will be valet parking, manned podiums for guests to check in, and a large room with floor to ceiling windows, and fireplaces,” said Smith. “It is designed with the guest experience in mind.”

The planned deluxe terminal is the second of Propeller’s projects, the first in Georgia which is still under development. Opening in the fall, it will be the first of the company’s terminals to open. It will be serviced by Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, each of which have committed several flights per day to the Everett-based field.

“Paine field already sees about 12 large aircraft flights per day, from Boeing and military flights,” said RAHS junior Nathaniel Vigdor. “If the airlines decide to add more flights, or the terminal decides to expand, it could significantly increase the volume of traffic that the area sees.”

There has been some resistance to the development, but nothing more than should be expected for any industrious expansion near a populated area. Environmental impact studies have shown that the planned number of flights will not excessively affect the environment, but should the number of flights be significantly increased, a reassessment would likely be necessary.

“I think the development is very interesting because it is one of the first of its kind in our area,” said Vigdor. “I hope that the concept will expand more, as it will provide for a close, easily accessible airport for my neighborhood. It is cool that we now have an alternative.”

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Men look fly at Mr. Aviation

The men at Mr. Aviation preforming the dance.
Photo Courtesy of: Kenny Pham

On 27 Apr. 2018, Mr. Aviation, RAHS’ male beauty pageant, was held in the BPC. The contestants tried their hand at a dance, showcased their many skills in a talent show, and demonstrated how smooth of a talker they are when answering questions. The 2018 winner of Mr. Aviation, sophomore Chase Barton, will receive a cardboard cutout of himself, a free parking spot, and free tickets to every RAHS dance for the next school year.  

During this year’s Mr. Aviation Pageant, junior Kenny Pham, ASB President-elect and Mr. Aviation contestant, created the dance that all of the contestants perform at the beginning of the Pageant. Pham was the 2017 Mr. Aviation victor and is known for his dance moves.

“Mr. Aviation, to me, is an event in which family members and students can watch participants really strut their stuff, and showcase their unique personalities as they go through a fashion show, talent show, and finally a question and answer portion at the very end,” said Pham.  

For Pham, his favorite part of the pageant was the talent show.

“Over the years, participants have always thought up of incredible showcases of their personal talents, ranging from dancing, to singing, to spoken word, and it’s always entertaining to see the excited crowd cheer on each act.”said Pham.  “The energy levels are so high during this portion and it’s always amazing to see people cheer at the top of their lungs,” said Pham.

But Mr. Aviation isn’t just about competing for a prize. For a lot of the students, Mr. Aviation can be about releasing stress and watching fellow students

Since there is always such strong audience participation for the competition, Pham feels it is a crucial part of RAHS culture.

“Mr. Aviation brings people together for a night in which everyone can let loose and watch, and cheer on their friends while they compete for the Mr. Aviation crown,” said Pham.

One of the aspects of the competition that likely draws the large crowd of students is because it is totally coordinated by students.

“Mr. Aviation is all student run,” said Pham. “Whoever volunteers, creates the dance choreography for the opening number, and the event coordinators on ASB — who were [juniors] Erin Magarro and Caroline Tran this year — lead meetings with the participants to make sure the event runs smoothly.”

However, not everything about the event is decided by the organizers. The contestants can make major decisions as well.

“The participants are in charge of their fashion show attire, talent, and answers for the questions,” said Pham. “This entire event is run by the students, and the only involvement faculty has is that they rate and judge the participants.”  

One of the most anticipated parts of Mr. Aviation is how it can draw people together and have them focus on one common goal.

“It’s really amazing how so many people can come together to create this exciting and hype event,” said Pham. “It also brings out the hype in people, and it continues to build up this community we have, filled with diverse talents all around.”

For contestant senior William Schnaith, the competition is about showcasing his talents.

“Mr. Aviation is a way to express talents I wouldn’t be able to show off in a regular fashion,” said Schnaith.

Like Pham, Schnaith also said the talent show was his favorite part. However, a large part of what Mr. Aviation meant to Schnaith was being known to others in RAHS.

“Also, it’s a great way of getting yourself known in our school’s community,” said Schnaith.

Another thing Schnaith enjoys about Mr. Aviation is the impact one can make on the school.

“Whether it’s working with the ASB, other contestants, or showing off to the crowd, you can leave a positive impact on a lot of people very easily,” said Schnaith.

Overall, Mr. Aviation is a great outlet for the students of RAHS to express themselves and showcase their unique talents.

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Ross and Bergin commence a new way for students to learn instruments

Wren Bergin (left) and Davie Anne Ross (right) perform a musical piece to RAHS students.
Photo by: Ava Yniguez

RAHS sophomores Wren Bergin and Davie Anne Ross are in the process of setting up a music lessons program at Highline High School. The two offer instrument lessons ranging from novice to advanced in expertise based on the student’s instrument of choice. Anyone with a passion for learning or improving their skills with an instrument of choice is encouraged to participate.

Bergin and Ross pride themselves on their approach to teaching styles geared towards the individual and their unique pricing structure, separating them from other music lesson rates in the area.

“Davie Anne and I are offering $15 or less per lesson which is more accessible to all families. said Bergin. Another difference is that Davie and I are 10th graders, our students are 3-5 years younger than us. We are old enough that they will listen to us but we are young enough to know the musical pathway they have been put through in elementary/middle school.”

Although the logistics of the program are to be discussed further, there are many benefits to the music lessons that Bergin and Ross are offering.

“The Highline School District has many benefits, musical education [is] not one of them. Music is one of the most abstract forms of art and has been proven to have a direct correlation with advantageous brain stimulation.” Bergin said.  “I am hoping we can provide these students with motivation and education to help them in their student careers.”

Jason Dominguez, a current student learning the piano under Bergin, is excited to learn music without breaking the bank.

“I chose to take lessons this way because it was a much cheaper way to get a good musical education.” said Dominguez.

As Bergin and Ross have expertise in multiple instruments, students can take up any from a wide variety of options.

“I play piano, clarinet, saxophone, and have intermediate experience on flute. I am offering lessons in any of these families (i.e. alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet),” said Bergin.

“I play violin primarily and have for almost decade; therefore, I will be offering violin lessons and possibly viola as well.” said Ross.

No prior knowledge or skill is required to take lessons. Wren Bergin and Davie Anne Ross have already been contacted by prospective students and may be contacted directly if one is interested in joining and participating.

“We have emailed and gotten responses from various elementary and middle schools around the district, most of which [we have] personal connections with.” said Bergin. “We plan to give presentations each year to inspire new recruits.”

Ross hopes to partner with local music stores and to expand to other schools.

“‘In the near future, we look forward to partnering with local music stores in order to provide instruments [for students’ use] that are clearly so vital to learning about the mechanics and technique of music,” said Ross. “‘Lastly, we both live within a five-mile radius of Highline High School, Gregory Heights, Sylvester, CHOICE, and many other Highline District locations.’”

Bergin and Ross are both well versed in playing instruments within ensembles and in music theory.

The instruments I play fall into the band category (excluding piano) and Davie Anne has a lot of experience with instruments in the orchestra.” said Bergin. “We are both well versed in music theory and instrument fundamentals and we both have experience with interacting with this age group.”

Their program differs from that of regular music lessons, as Ross and Bergin have implemented a different approach to learning an instrument.

“We anticipate that the message of our program will resonate more deeply with students because we will be leading with the impact of music on our lives and character and not the technicality of learning an instrument,” said Ross.

The benefits offered by providing an array of options, are geared toward students’ needs, relating it to personal learning experiences.

“This angle is, in our opinion, significantly more beneficial and sustainable because in order for an individual to learn an instrument to the best of their capabilities, they need to first understand how much they can truly gain from their commitment.” said Ross. “I can say that if I had realized this earlier on, then I would be years ahead of where I am now skillswise.”

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Has Link Crew really benefited students?

Link Crew failing to link Freshmen to their new high school.
Photo by: Semay Alazar

Link Crew is a program led by upperclassmen designed to help incoming freshmen get through their first year of high school at RAHS. While it has been beneficial to some students, many students feel that it has not assisted their transition into high school.

Freshman Gurleen Kaur is one of the students that did not experience the benefit of Link Crew.

“I don’t think it is beneficial to have a Link Crew,” said Kaur. “Most of the time Link Crew meetings are at lunch which is the only time students get to socialize with their friends. Also if students have questions they usually just ask each other right away and don’t need to rely on other help.”

Freshman Fela Goerz does not see the advantage of having Link Crew throughout the school year.  

“I think Link Crew is a good way for new students to get acquainted with the school when they first start, but I think after about a month it is pointless,” says Goerz. “I think I adjusted to high school at my own pace. I think every student has to take their own time to adjust to high school. It’s a different experience for everyone. I think students don’t go to their meetings because they are acquainted with the school and they do not feel they need any more help.”

Wren Bergin, a sophomore and Link Crew leader, has taken it upon herself to try and interact with her group. However, it has been very challenging for her.

“It seems to me the freshmen don’t come in to it [Link Crew] with an open mind,” said Bergin. “Some are very responsive, unlike others who either don’t respond at all or give us the wrong number for their contact information.”

Bergin has tried many ways to be truly helpful to her Link Crew

“My partner and I at first were very committed to establishing connections with our group,” said Bergin. “We set up a group chat on a platform of social media everyone had and sent reminders [to them]. Only two or three students would show up to our weekly meetings even though we would remind them in person if we saw them.”

Bergin believes it could be a very effective program if everyone pulled their weight.

“I believe Link Crew helps create some sense of bonding if the freshmen and the leaders are committed,” said Bergin. “I believe the meetings during the summer where different groups were able to bond with each other created more community.”

Freshman Marco Jawili has not completely interacted with his Link Crew. However, he as a student is aware of the importance of having the program in place.

“I cannot really speak on this question since I haven’t really interacted with my Link Crew,” said Jawili. “However, what I’ve heard from other people it’s sometimes awkward and not really helpful. Although I don’t think it’s as effective throughout the year. I think Link Crews are really useful before school starts and a few weeks after for helping freshman getting their way around Aviation and just giving them a student perspective”

Jawili was able to join the student body without the help of Link Crew

“I found my place at school through getting out there and going out of my comfort zone to find my sort of niche,” said Jawili. “Through interacting more with other people I was able to find  people I can really relate with.”Sarah Erdmann, a teacher at RAHS and one of the staff members that helped first start Link Crew, believes there is more subjective reasoning behind the students’ low attendance in Link Crew meetings.

“I am sure there are a variety of reasons,” said Erdmann. “I would guess one reason is because the Link Crew Leaders aren’t holding meetings. Maybe at some point the freshmen outgrow the need to attend or don’t feel connected enough to attend. I am sure individual students have their reasons.”

While there are improvements to be made to the program, Erdmann still finds the importance of implementing such a group at RAHS.

“Obviously I think the program is beneficial, but just like with every program or organization, there is room for improvement and nothing is perfect,” said Erdmann. “I would like to see more Link Crew Leaders holding meetings [with] their groups throughout the year, and I appreciate those who still dedicated to their Link Crew, like [juniors] Mitchell [Turner] and Nico [Wilson]. I think one of our biggest issues is we just run out of time — there is so much going on and ASB has a lot on our plates, so that is definitely part of why it’s still a work in progress.”

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Contemporary dance represents students’ emotions

Dory Mwangi (left) and fellow ballet dancer Alli Meyer (right), a student at Western Washington University, prepare for their upcoming recital.
Photo Courtesy of: Dory Mwangi

Passion, or graduation requirements, often push RAHS students to embrace new extracurriculars. Contemporary dance, alongside other forms, has currently taken the interest of a few underclassmen.

Sophomore Dory Mwangi has been interested in dance since childhood, always aspiring to learn the art in some form.

“I was always mesmerized by dance as a kid, and from a very young age I was interested in doing ballet, but my parents never really had the time to take me to or from [ballet] or the money for it either so it was just a fantasy that I had to forget about.” said Mwangi. “As I got older I forgot about it, but when I came to RAHS and found out dance could be used as PE credit, I joined ballet and, after a while, contemporary/jazz.”

Distinct differences separate the more relaxed contemporary and the high-standard ballet.

“I feel like the rules of ballet are a lot more uptight than in contemporary” said Mwangi. “So far there’s a lot of floor work involved [in contemporary], whereas in ballet I’m just improving my technique and trying to look as elegant as possible.”

Mwangi’s dancing experience has earned her a new appreciation for the art.

“I’ve definitely gained a lot of appreciation for all dancers,” said Mwangi. “I feel like nowadays dancers are really underrated, but it takes a lot of work to make yourself look pretty, flawless, and weightless when you’re also going through a lot of pain.”

Lately she has invested more in contemporary, with lessons ramping up she prepares for a performance.

“We’ve been focusing on showing our emotion a lot lately and really being in sync with our bodies, so I can’t wait to see how it’ll look on stage,” said Mwangi. “We’ve just started practicing for our recital in June which will be held at the PAC in Burien. The choreography is really great and I love how it’s coming together. Ms. Micheala [the dance choreographer] is so down to earth and energetic and you can really see that through her choreography.”

While Mwangi doesn’t see herself pursuing a lucrative dance career, her love for dance will keep her invested in it as only a hobby.

“I don’t want to pursue dance as a career or anywhere along those lines, it’s just something I like to do in my free time because I get to express the way I feel, talk with my friends while building trust between each other, and improve my body at the same time,” said Mwangi. “I see myself taking a few classes in college, nothing too serious — just pop in to some open ballet classes here and there.”

Another sophomore, Tija Marie, does dance for fun and has just recently been able to get more involved.

“I always liked the thought of joining contemporary but had too many extracurricular activities, which made my schedule full at the time, until now,” said Marie. “Dance is something I do for fun.”

Original starting as a ballet dancer, Marie is excited at the prospect of contemporary.

“When I was younger I did ballet and tap [dancing] for most of my childhood but grew out of it in my teen years,” said Marie. “Contemporary dance involves a lot of improv dancing whereas ballet includes a lot of technique. I enjoy contemporary a lot more than ballet and tap because of this.”

Marie is able to channel her feelings uniquely through dancing, expressing herself in ways that words cannot.  

“I hope to gain more confidence in myself over the years,” said Marie. “Sometimes I find it hard to express how I feel with words. But when I’m dancing I can show I feel without having to say anything.”

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Pirouetting into a new year

Alden surprises Soran with flowers after her performance.
Photo Credit: Michael Alden (her boyfriend)

While maintaining good grades, working as a hostess, and finding time to spend with friends and family, senior Veronica Soran also manages to keep her dancing intact.

Her mom’s infatuation for ballet is what got Soran engaged with dance at such a young age.

“I started when I was only three years old,” said Soran. “My mom signed me up at the same time as some of her friend’s kids.

Although dancing wasn’t an ambition of hers when she was a child, Soran appreciates her mom for enrolling her in classes at a young age because of the morals she was taught.

Dance has had a huge impact on my life,” said Soran. “I learned discipline, teamwork, and control of my body.”

Not only is Soran a ballerina, but she also participates in other genres of dance.

“I also do jazz and contemporary, both for about four years,” said Soran. “Contemporary is great because you can move so much more freely than you can when following the conventions of ballet. [As for] jazz, [I’ve always enjoyed it] because of the intensity and passion the movement often has.”

During the year, dancers are allowed to audition for performances which Soran is very fond of.

The most recent ballet I performed in was Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker,” said Soran. [I was also] so honored and excited to perform the lead role in the ballet, the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

A lot of time and preparation goes into these performances. However, “limit” does not exist in Soran’s vocabulary.

“On a typical week I usually spend about 20 hours at the studio improving my technique and preparing for an upcoming show,” said Soran. “In addition to school and dancing, I also work as a Hostess/Busser at the local Italian Restaurant Angelo’s of Burien. I really enjoy working there, however between schoolwork, dancing, and shifts there, I don’t have a whole lot of free time.”

Long term boyfriend and best friend senior Michael Alden, makes it his duty to attend and support as many dances of Soran as possible.

I was at her most recent performance [and] she was the main girl,” said Alden. “I wouldn’t miss [it] for the world and to be honest it was the best Nutcracker yet. I have gone for 4 years and this was the best year.”

Alden loves how down to earth Soran is and the amazing personality she has.

“Veronica is an energetic, loving, hardworking, and patient girl,” said Alden. “[She’ll go] to school, and then [head] to the doctors and [after], go to dance for hours on end till 10 at night. On the weekends, she goes to dance at 9 until 3 and then she goes to work till 10:30 at night and still finds time for [her] friends and I.”

Despite all the effort Alden puts into aiding Soran, he believes her family puts their best foot forward for her.

“Her parents are probably her biggest supporters, no matter what I do I can never catch up to her family,” said Alden. “They are [always] driving her around from place to place and doing their best to constantly support her no matter what she does.”

When it comes to memorizing dances, Soran is quick to get everything down.

“I have always been good at picking up choreography and understanding music,” said Soran. “In the corps de ballet there are a lot of formations and confusing counts to worry about and I feel lucky to have a knack for understanding them.”

The days where Soran has time on her hands, she’ll be out and about.

“I don’t have a ton of free time, but when I get lucky I love to spend time with my friends, going hiking together, or finding interesting places to take pictures,” said Soran.

Soran finds dancing as her passion, and will never get tired of it.

“I love how it feels to completely lose myself and focus on my movement,” said Soran. “I love putting all of my energy into something I care about so much to the point where I leave and I’m completely exhausted.”

Dance has made a significant influence on Sorans life. However, instead of pursuing it as a career, she plans to use her experience in beneficial ways.

“I plan to integrate dancing into my college experience whether I find a studio to take classes, teach younger dancers, or join my school’s dance team,” said Soran.

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Viaduct’s rise to stardom

The scene: Guitarist and vocalist Zach Watson hammers away at the strings, voice straining and veins popping as he sings lyrics familiar only to him, the bassist, and the drummer. Beside him stands the mellow bassist, Sevawn Guenther, head bobbing and fingers smoothly sliding along his earthy brown colored instrument as he sets the foundation for the wild, yet coherent song. Set in front of them both sits Henry Chapman dreadlocks hanging low behind his drums as he rhythmically matches the guitar and adds even more flavor to an ensemble that can be described somewhere between grunge and hard rock.

 

This homebrew, teen-spirit-esque band Viaduct began as many things do: online and over a video game.

“One night Sevawn and I were playing Minecraft and I said to him ‘Sevawn, we should make a band,’” said RAHS junior Zach Watson “I said,‘dude, you know what, I can play guitar,’ and he [Guenther] said ‘you know what? I’ve always wanted to play bass.”

Thus started an epic journey of grunge, soul searching, good times. After training for some 5 years on their instruments, Viaduct is now feeling confident enough to perform publicly.

I think that from playing for a bit and practicing, I think that we have a nice sound,” said Watson. “It’s like we have a cohesion where we can play, and we don’t really necessarily need to know what we’re doing, but it will still sound like something, and people will go ‘oh yeah, this is pretty good.’”

In the future, Viaduct hopes to be able to perform in paid gigs.

 

“The ideal is [to start] play[ing] in March,” said Watson. “We want to start playing shows then.”

Chapman had even more ambitious goals.

“I want to be playing sooner than that, I want to be playing in two or three weeks,” said Chapman. “We can just go to an open mic and say ‘hey we’ve got instruments, we have a few songs, can we just play a few?’ We could also get together some CDs and a tip jar and start earning some money.”

 

Their musical vision has evolved and changed throughout the years, but recently they have found their unique style, falling into a sort-of grunge genre.

“I’m definitely a little hasty to label ourselves, I’ve noticed as of late. I used to think that back in the day that we were grunge, and it was all about grunge, and I certainly still have that attraction to grunge,” said Watson. “But at the same time we’re not Nirvana and we’re not Soundgarden and we’ll never be them. We’re just making music and that’s all that matters, it doesn’t matter if you label yourself or if you’re successful.”

“We are Viaduct, without the the, and that’s our genre,” said Chapman.

Becoming Viaduct has called for some major commitments from its members, and often times, being a part of the band has opened their eyes to a new perspective.

“When Zach asked me to start a band with him, I thought I hated music,” said Guenther. “But the whole sort of starting a band thing completely veered my life in a separate direction from where I thought it was going, but a very good direction.”

With their musical talents supporting them, the band hopes to realize their dream of turning their music into more than just a hobby.

“The goal really is to be self-sustaining by doing the things that we love,” said Chapman, “and we love music so we’re hoping that we can make a living by pursuing music and if we can do that, then I’m going to be happy.”

 

 

 

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Davie Anne Ross appointed ASB Art Director

Davie Anne Ross laughing at something a friend said while drawing a picture of Bob Ross.
Photo By: Semay Alazar

Davie Anne Ross, RAHS ASB Art Director, has began the year prepared to take on not only incumbent responsibilities, such as making posters and decorating dances, but also new responsibilities, like creating new designs for RAHS merchandise.

As Art Director, Ross’ main job is to head the Leadership Class’s Art Committee, designing the various posters for school events.

“That’s basically my job, organizing them [art committee members],” said Ross, “giving more ideas to them, and allowing them to use their own [ideas] as well in a very cohesive atmosphere where we’re able to create things that make our school not just more beautiful but more colorful, and find ways to represent the student body in art.”

Another of Ross’s main focuses is to increase the number of student-made projects that have already been selling at the Spirit Shack.

“[I] definitely want to try and make more merchandise. I feel like this years’ were a pretty big hit, a lot of people seemed to like the authentic student-made designs,” said Ross. “I want to incorporate a lot more graphics into our merchandise instead of just all text.”

Ross is driven by student art-work, which she believes is a key facet to ASB.“Whether they be personal designs or graphic logos, we were able to introduce student artwork into our merchandise this year,” said Ross. “Something I really want to get more [of] is representation of the student body [through our merchandise], versus just strictly ASB, [the] art director, [or] anyone within ASB.”

The creation of these student designs was due to the need for newer, better looking merch.

“I felt like in past years merchandise that RAHS had produced was more [text based],” said Ross, “and I was looking for more ways to incorporate art and logos into it and actually have other people produce art for themselves to be included in designs for the future.”

Kenny Pham, ASB Vice President, enjoys the creative and often funny designs that have come from this new approach.

“[The] Bob Ross [shirt design] was created by Felix Bosques, Davie Anne Ross, and Eric Lottsfeldt. We decided that should be on a shirt because that was really funny,” said Pham. “The leadership kids definitely have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to creating logos in that class.”

While it is her main job, Ross’ focus is not limited to Art Committee. She also works with event coordinators to design decoration for dances and other events.

“I feel like the look and aesthetic of a certain place or environment really influences the atmosphere and who goes there and how people feel,” said Ross. “It’s really important to have something that reflects the mood that you’re trying to go for at certain events.”

The Art Director will work on just about anything that needs some artistic flare.

“The [Art Director] works on making sure the art direction in our everyday lives, with dances or with the slides in assemblies, [is done well],” said Kenny Pham. “Anything that relates to art or needs visual appeal, the art director will be there to take the job.”

Ross has always been an artistically inclined person, so it has been difficult for her to find artistic outlets at RAHS, a more STEM focused school.

“This being a STEM school, there are very few outlets for my artistic capabilities and affinities, so whenever I see something [art related], I really commit to going forth and committing to it,” said Ross. “So when I saw Art Director, I saw that as a really great opportunity to not only find an outlet for my artistic capabilities, but to also produce something that would be seen on a widespread scale.”

With Art Director and leader of the RAHS String Ensemble on her plate, Ross hasn’t had much time for herself, so seeing her own artwork worn by many students has been validating for her.

“I don’t really have a lot of time to draw and paint for myself, on the weekends or even during the week,” said Ross. “I definitely saw Art Director and String Ensemble as a way for me to find artistic outlets within school so it wouldn’t consume too much time.”

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K-Pop enables students to express themselves

Andreah Elvira, Kayla Tran and Rhoana Marie stans over BTS’s new song ‘DNA’.
Photo By: Tristina Huynh

K-Pop has influenced RAHS students as a way for them to come together and interact with one another through a mutual interest.

Senior Francesca Gaerlan believes that K-Pop brought her to meet new people and  experiences fun activities such as concerts and festivals.

“Through K-Pop, I was able to connect more with students who also liked K-Pop,” said Gaerlan. “Not only have I met people who liked K-Pop inside of the school community, but also outside, by going to K-Pop events, I’ve met people who I am really close with because of K-Pop.”

Artists such as BTS, Crush, and Kang Gary influence Gaerlan on a deeper level as they focus on issues such as societal that she connects with.

“My favorite K-Pop group is BTS, I also like IU; they both produce songs that will make you think of what they mean on a deeper level,” said Gaerlan. “There are also solo artists that I listen to like Crush and Kang Gary. These artists focuses on all the societal issues, and I guess I just liked that about them.”

Senior Abigail Quinsay feels a strong connection through K-Pop due to how she relates to the band Day 6 on a language level.

“Jae or Brian, [members of the band, Day 6] he’s bilingual and grew up in LA, so his Korean isn’t amazing and sometimes you can hear his American accent,” said Quinsay. “He also talks about how he struggles with writing Korean lyrics. I’m the same way with Tagalog. I look up to these guys and other artists.”

K-Pop also helped revive Quinsay’s creative side.

“Before high school, I used to be in better touch with my creative side, I would write stories, poetry, and make movies with my friends,” said Quinsay. “Ever since I started listening to K-Pop I’ve been inspired by the artists and community to get back into those creative hobbies.

BTS influences Quinsay with their lyrics that helps her study and stay on track in school.

“One time I was procrastinating by reading BTS’s ‘Pied Piper’ lyrics and one line said ‘Video clips, pictures, tweets, … It’s not just one hour, it’s a whole year that’ll disappear,’” said Quinsay. “That line was so real for me and kinda scared me, so I got started on my homework. Situations similar to this happen kinda often because sometimes K-Pop idols like to remind their fans to study.”

K-Pop has been a big part of junior Katie Taylor’s life because it helps her connect with other people with the same interest.

“For me, K-Pop is an essential part of my life, I don’t think I can imagine myself without it. One of the reasons why I love K-Pop is that it connects me with other people who also like it,” said Taylor. “Personally I’m not very good at making conversations unless I have something to say, but if I’m talking to someone and we share the same passion for K-Pop, then I will almost always have something to say.”

K-Pop has helped Taylor strengthen her friendship with her best friend.

“I introduced her to it pretty soon after I got into it myself, and I also taught her some basic Korean,” said Taylor. “We’re both really passionate about K-Pop and I feel that this shared interest has helped bring us closer.”

Memorizing K-Pop lyrics boost Taylor’s confidence.

“Learning songs in a language with a different alphabet was a pretty daunting task,” said Taylor. “Having done it has shown me that I can succeed at new things that seem really intimidating, so personally that’s been a good confidence-booster.”

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Student stars shine on stage

from left to right; RAHS sophomore Wren Bergin listens attentively to the instruction of senior Lukas Civan who plays Grimsby in the Hiliners production of the Little Mermaid

From 9 Sept. to 24 Sept., RAHS students performed in the Hi-Liners Musical Theatre adaptation of The Little Mermaid at the Performing Arts Center in Burien.

Laboring extensively over the summer, students such as RAHS sophomore Wren Bergin finally got to showcase their hard work on performance night.

“We rehearsed about 140 hours for the entire play,” said Bergin. “Usually it’s an hour for every page, and our script was 120 pages long, so we put in an extra 20 hours on it.”

AP Literature teacher Sarah Fitzpatrick can vouch that the students’ hard work paid off when she saw the play.

“I thought it was wonderful,” said Fitzpatrick. “I know Amber Thatcher [who played Ariel] because she was a student in my class so we were excited to see her on stage, and she has such a beautiful voice.”

Although experiencing the play as performer, Bergin agrees with the sentiment.

“When you’re in a play you can’t really say that it was good or not because you’ll never get the experience watching it first hand,” said Bergin,  “but I can pretty confidently say that our performances went well.”

Bergin herself is a well seasoned theatre kid.

“With the Hi-Liners, I’ve been in about 27 plays,” said Bergin. “I’ve been with them since I was 7.”

Senior Lucas Civan is a new arrival to the Hi-Liners, but still has some productions under his belt.

The Little Mermaid was my third show with the Hi-Liners, following The Sound of Music and UrineTown,” said Civan. “I’ve been a Hi-Liner for roughly a year.”

Despite this experience with theatre, The Little Mermaid production still came with its share of surprises.

“Whenever props or the sets would break, especially during performances, it would cause this awkward half-second pause,” said Civan, “with everyone looking at each other in a blur of confusion and laughter, thinking; ‘Shoot, what do we do now?’”

Though frightening at the time, the breaking of props during performances can leave a fond memory.

“For example, in the second act when Ariel, Eric, and Grimsby [Civan’s character] are about to eat dinner, the bell that I usually rang unexpectedly broke in half,” said Civan. “I looked over at Amber Thatcher, who played Ariel, who was trying extremely hard not to burst out laughing. Little moments like those happen all the time during live performances, which are scary during the time, but hilarious to look back on.”
Additionally, things weren’t always smooth sailing before the curtains opened.

“One challenge was seeing how it is going to be put together, how it’s going to work,” said Bergin. There’s always a point in the process when you’re a few weeks in and it feels like nothing is working.”

Still, the fruits of the work that go into a main stage production are just as gratifying for the two.

“When you begin production, as we did back in June, you read the script and begin to envision the character that you are portraying. During script read throughs, blocking, and rehearsals, you slowly begin to pick up on character motivations, traits, quirks, jokes, and more,” said Civan. “Discovering the character and becoming them, one-hundred percent of them, is an amazing feeling; like literally walking a mile in their shoes, until you become them.”

For Civan, theatre is a comprehensive form of artistic expression.

“Theatre provides a rare opportunity to abandon reality and become someone else, to step into their shoes and explore their world,” said Civan. “It’s a creative outlet that incorporates acting, singing, dancing, improv, costuming, set design, and about every other art form you could think of.”

Yet, finding the time to be able to express that creativity is a challenge in its own right.
“The first week of school we had ‘tech days’ which would be from 4:30 – 9:30 pm. So I’d get home at around 10 and then I would have homework to do,” said Bergin. “I would be able to do some homework during ‘tech days’ because we aren’t always used everyday but it was pretty stressful the first week.”

Theatre also provides an opportunity for self-growth and reflection.

“You have to take responsibility for yourself because no one else will,” said Civan. “If I messed up a line or forgot a section of blocking, prior to The Little Mermaid, I’d often blame it on something or someone else. However, since I was entering my first MainStage Production, I had to acknowledge, fix, and learn from my mistakes.”

As an art form, theatre allows any willing student to leave themselves at the door, and become someone else on stage.

“Anyone can be a performer,” said Civan. “Whether it’s singing, acting, or dancing, theatre will take you in and transform your creativity and passion into spectacle.”

from left to right; RAHS sophomore Wren Bergin listens attentively to the instruction of senior Lukas Civan who plays Grimsby in the Hiliners production of the Little Mermaid

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