An unusual SAT experience

The SAT made me nostalgic. I don’t think it’s supposed to do that, but, with the time I had left at the end of the writing section, I couldn’t help but think back to the first time I took the SAT, in China. It was my ninth month in Beijing, where I had been living […]

Thanksgiving with a cultural twist

Families with recent ties to other countries and cultures celebrate Thanksgiving, the traditional American holiday, by combining the spirit of gratitude and goodwill with their own celebratory foods and traditions.   Norway There is no sweet potato pie in Norway, and, in 2005, there were only two flavors of ice cream: vanilla and Neapolitan. Considering […]

Behind the wheel

It was the 1990s, and the economy in Ecuador was failing. People had to carry bills worth millions in their wallets as monetary values in the country quickly decreased. Entering data in a very old, very large, very nineties computer at a credit union in his hometown of Quito, Ecuador, Johnny Salazar, now bus driver […]

Parents to resolve absences online

A new system for submitting parent notes has recently gone live on the Parent Portal. With the new electronic note sending system, when  students have an unresolved absence on their record, a parent is automatically sent an email notification informing them of the absence. The system was created over the summer by software development manager […]

Meet Gregorio

Guanajuato, Mexico is known for its agriculture, an industry which requires a lot of putting things into the ground. However, as the oldest member of the Harvard-Westlake maintenance staff, Gregorio Hernandez has moved on from a life of cultivating central Mexican corn fields to a job in which he spends most of his time picking […]

Don’t stereotype my identity

I am mixed race, or, at least, I am trying to be. It is not easy when everyone around me expects me to be black. I walk around school with a red, black and green Africa necklace hanging down to my belly and Rasta-colored sunglasses on my head, so how could I not be Afro-centric […]

I’m still attached to my life in China

I felt like crying right there in the middle of the baggage claim, and it wasn’t because I was happy to see my mom, who was hugging me now, holding me tight as though she believed that, if she squeezed hard enough, she’d be able to drain the nine months that I’d spent away as […]

Almost feels like home

School Year Abroad China, the high school foreign exchange program I am participating in, took me 16,000 miles away from my home and didn’t give me a place that I could call mine. They gave me a host family, and my host family gave me a room. “This is your room,” my host parents told […]

Coping with tragedy in our own ways

Everyone keeps asking me to say something about Justin Carr ’14’s death, but, in all honesty, I’ve been trying to forget about it. It’s surprisingly easy to do when, like me, one is thousands of miles away in a country, China where I have been spending my junior year with the high school foreign exchange […]