Interim is a week-long adventure for Upper School that takes place right before spring break where students and faculty travel around the globe to partake in various service projects, sightseeing, leadership building, and appreciating the beautiful world we live in. This year's interim trips had a mixture of immersion into international cultures, as well as many local trips to experience some hidden parts of LA. Check out some of the different interim trips below!
After months of preparation, Westridge hosted a community celebration of diversity and cultural education at the second annual Night Market. The Market is a night of festivities in hopes to spark cultural competency on Westridge’s campus. Led by the Multicultural Parent Collaborative, the Night Market includes food trucks, booths from various Westridge Upper School affinity groups, food, the middle school Water Warriors, and various cultural performances.
From new compost bins to a ban on plastic water bottles, recent changes in the Commons have been vast. These improvements have all been with the goal to make our Westridge campus more sustainable and environmentally conscious, as well as to educate the community on the issues that are promoting climate action. Although these modifications have proved to be sometimes challenging, they have created many positive outcomes.
The 7th Voices in Literature and Culture Conference tomorrow (04/24/2019) is an annual chance to see literature, visual art, and students from fresh perspectives. A yearly opportunity for Westridge students to present their ideas and analysis to teachers and other students, the conference is organized by Westridge’s English teachers Dr. Jessica Bremmer, Ms. Tarra Stevenson, and Ms. Molly Yurchak.
The Westridge March Madness Table Tennis Tournament, a fun and breezy annual competition dedicated to those campus hardcore ping pong players, celebrates slightly competitive tête-à-têtes among friends. The founder, Paloma S., ’19, said that the table tennis tournament originated from Rocketry, where her class laser-printed table tennis paddles.
"It’s the oldest story. Masses are oppressed; faces, clothes, and bladders are distressed. Rich folks get the good life, poor folks get the woe. In the end, it’s nothing you don’t know."
- Urinetown: The Musical
On March 8th, Westridge Chamber Orchestra, with conductor Michael Powers, traveled to California School of the Arts in Duarte, California to perform in a Band & Orchestra Festival hosted by the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association (SCSBOA). The festival required each orchestra to prepare two or three pieces to perform and to sight-read one piece in front of a panel of judges.
Local & World
On most days after lunch, several Upper School students hastily disperse into different rooms above the Commons where they nervously pace with palms clenched across their waists. Some absently bite their nails and rub their sweaty palms against their nicely pleated khaki Westridge skirts. Others sit alone at the tables with their foreheads resting on their hands and gather a few minutes to clear their minds as other members practice their arguments for an upcoming tournament. Welcome to the behind-the-scenes preparations of the Westridge Speech and Debate team.
April 23 • Tiffany C.
An army of one, Haven Coleman stands on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol with a sign that reads “School Strike for Climate Change.” 12 years old and a climate change activist from Denver, Colorado, Coleman is trying to make a big difference in the world. She is the co-founder and co-director of the student climate change strike in America that occurred on March 15 in solidarity with Greta Thunberg’s strike and Friday’s For Future.
During the first weekend of March, dozens of teenagers from Newport Harbor High School and Costa Mesa High School posted similar pictures of a party on Snapchat including red solo cups arranged in a Swastika with smiling people behind the anti-semitic symbol giving a “Heil Hitler” sign. Captions like “German rage cage” and “German engineering” accompanied the photos. Following the anti-Semitic posts, the party-goers sent obscene texts in a group chat reading: “Phone’s gonna die...like the Jews,” and “F**k Jews, such piece of sh*ts.” The texts accumulated a couple thousand views over the couple of days post-event.
April 23 • McKenna B. & Jackie Y.
April 23 • Emily S.
Ayden P., '22 (left), & Sophia C., ’22 (right)
Sophia and Ayden have been waiting to perform their own music live since the age of nine. With three songs already completed, Apology , Wildfire, and Constellations, the dynamic duo’s dreams are fast becoming a reality. Live performances are the climax. Finding a producer is the nadir. A family friend in the music business helped them find one, but it took months. Once they had a producer, they recorded one of their songs with real equipment in a real studio.
April 23 • Gracie S.
On Friday, April 12, the Westridge Glee Club had the honor of singing at a Westridge alumna’s wedding. The wedding was located at the Athenaeum at Caltech. About 60 people were in attendance, including other Westridge graduates who were friends of the bride. Some guests had traveled all the way from Argentina to celebrate.
April 23 • Caroline L.
Stevenson shows off her “author pose” in her office.
After years of teaching, having a baby, and watching her students pursue creative work, Tarra Stevenson went back to school and received her MFA in fiction writing. Through her graduate program, she was able to write both a screenplay and a novel, and is now in the process of rewriting and looking towards publishing her book entitled Mother Tongue.
April 23 • Caroline P.
Quincy O’Neal, wearing an FC Barcelona scarf and jersey.
hired as a long-term Upper School Spanish substitute teacher for the remainder of the year. If you haven’t already seen O’Neal chatting with students around campus, you might have spotted him at Varsity soccer’s CIF semifinal match or in the audience of the Urinetown musical.
April 23 • Isabel A.
April 23 • Jackie Y.
This issue’s Alumni Spotlight features Erica Wu '14, a current software engineer for Facebook. As a sophomore at Westridge, Wu represented Team USA in table tennis at the 2012 Olympics. In this Q&A, Wu discusses her current job, her past as a table tennis competitor, and what she looks forward to in the future.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into the White Privilege Conference (WPC) on the morning of March 21, but it certainly wasn’t host Keith Brown leading the crowd with his rendition of Biggie’s “Hypnotize.” Lucky for us, this was only the first of many surprises.
Student Delegates that attended YAP
Lackawanna Blues is a semi-autobiographical one-man show starring Ruben Santiago-Hudson as, well, everyone. A dizzying tapestry of anecdotes, Lackawanna Blues depicts the life and times of those surrounding a boarding house presided over by Rachel “Nanny” Crosby, a stern but loving woman who raised Santiago-Hudson, also the playwright and director.
The Mark Taper Forum
Since its opening in 2012, Sqirl has been one of LA’s hippest restaurants, with food that is both visually stunning and delicious. The sorrel rice bowl, one of Sqirl’s most iconic dishes, is a perfect example of the restaurant’s use of unconventional ingredients and flavor combinations. The ricotta toast is another favorite and comes topped with a rainbow of homemade jams. Sqirl, which began as a jam company, still makes all of their jams right next door to the restaurant.
April 23 • Mirelle L.
Jessica Koslow (left), owner of Sqirl; dishes at the restaurant
April 23 • Caroline L.
Each year, tennis tournaments like the BNP Paribas Open take months of planning. Like any other major sports event, the venue has to be ready for the some 450,000 people who attend, employees have to be hired, and players must qualify, but one of the most important details necessary for running the tournament is often overlooked: ball kids.
Caroline L., '21, (second from right) and team with Venus Williams
April 23 • Sophia H.K.
April 23 • Emerson L.
My nine years at Westridge are finally coming to an end. That’s half of my entire life spent at this school. It’s strange being the person I am today and walking through the same halls I did when I was nine years old, seeing my fourth grade teachers on a regular basis, and being a senior, who I thought, when I was in fourth grade, were like invincible gods (I can tell you we’re definitely not). Nine years of late-night studying, sports injuries, hell-raising with friends, and Commons food-gorging is coming to an end, and I’m incredibly grateful for the community that Westridge has provided me. Not to say these last nine years haven’t been without their challenges, but because of the good and the bad, I feel both prepared and extremely ready to start my life in the world outside Westridge. And one of the things I am most grateful for is the opportunity to work as Editor-in-Chief of Spyglass.
April 23 • Ronni H.
Nightwalkers, incest, blood, and dragons. The hit HBO series Game of Thrones has made history since its debut in 2011, and with the show’s eighth and final season concluding over the course of the next four weeks, it’s time to talk about what the show is ACTUALLY about: climate change. For those of you that—for some insane reason—haven’t seen the show, this may not be a big deal to you (but trust me, you’ll still want to hear this), for those that are currently watching it but not yet caught up, you may want to keep scrolling so I don’t give anything away (but come back and read this when you’re done), and for those avid fans out there, you may be skeptical, so let me break it down.
April 23 • Ronni H.
The college admissions scandal is the story that won’t die. At least three times a week since the story broke, I find myself reading article after article about the intricacies of the biggest news to rock education this year. My visceral reaction to hearing about the 50 indicted parents paying for their children to get into school was disgust. Not disgust with the parents, the colleges, or the students, but with an educational system that would let this happen in the first place.
April 23 • Caroline P.
Hailey Yoshida, '22, pitching during a softball game.
The inning began as pitcher Hailey Y., ’22, stepped to the plate and began her pitch. At the very last second, Hailey’s arm slowed, letting the ball glide from her fingertips. In a tenth of a second the batter had struck out, leaving the spectators furiously excited.