Cherish Every Moment Under the Glowing Lights

Da Vinci Senior Valerie Alden took pride competing at the Summit Championships. Over 500 teams got the National Honor  to compete at the Summit Nationals in Orlando Florida The Summit is an invitational competition only given to the best teams all over the United States. To receive this invitation, hard working cheer teams have to practice diligently for years. The coaches are dedicated to helping the athletes get to where they want to go which is The Summit. University Cheer Force had 7 cheer teams along with 1x world champ team at the Worlds.  

“I was really excited about the 7 teams that went to Summit and the 1 worlds team” said Coach Dwayne

Valerie had some magical moments made with her teammates from University Cheer Force as they hit zero. Her team had no technical errors or deductions. She was amazed when she was on the sideline cheering on other athletes seeing other top cheer teams in the US in one place. As her cheer team was preparing for the performance , there were varsity staff workers talking about her team about to take on the stage

“Going backstage it got darker  hearing the big loud arena I had to prepare mentally and physically, my heart was beating like drums and tears were coming down my cheeks, I went to the side to do my confident power stance two friends taught me and hearing the varsity staff in the background saying  ‘Twisters are about to take the floor.’ I knew I had to go out and do my best”.

Valerie and her cheer team took the summit stage as the spotlights are shining bright on their faces, the crowds cheering and when the routine ended the arena got loud and crazy

Valerie Alden states “It’s the loudest cheering I’ve heard from the audience ever, it was neat that other teams and parents were watching us, the sportsmanship is amazing. All athletes were respectful of each other because all of are the best in the US, I’m so proud of myself”

Bro-entines Day

February can be a time of romance and togetherness and a time to celebrate with your significant other. For some though, Valentine’s day is a time to wander aimlessly around your house, eating ice cream and binging Netflix. It seems that many women have come up with an idea that makes Valentines day fun for everybody, no matter of relationship status. The idea is called Galentine’s day and is set on February 14, the day before Valentine’s day. The Basic idea is that a group of female friends get together on the 14th and have fun together, eating food, playing games and just having a good time overall. While this sounds like a great idea, but two Da Vinci Seniors, Blayne Clegg-Swan and Haadi Shaw, have an idea to spread Valentine’s spirit to everybody.

If you asked people around Da Vinci who they thought the two best guy friends were, you would probably hear the names Blayne Clegg-Swan and Haadi Shaw more than most. Both had very interesting ideas and opinions about ‘Bro-entines Day’ the male version of Galentine’s Day. “We need it to happen” said Clegg-Swan, when asked about the possibilities of an official Bro-entines Day. Shaw also chimed in saying “Bro-entines day should take up two days […] it should be a group of friends who celebrate being single […] but not as emotional as girls”. They both think it should be a holiday that all single guys should be able to celebrate. “We should have a brunch, with chocolates,” said Clegg-Swan, while Shaw nodded in agreement. If you are wondering what qualifies you to celebrate Bro-entines day, it’s pretty easy, “all you have to do is be a single guy” stated Shaw.

Whether you want to celebrate Bro-entines Day with that special friend you have or you want to celebrate it with you entire sports team, it is about time there is a holiday for single guys. While there is not attention on this holiday yet, Clegg-Swan and Shaw seem determined to make this happen, for the sake of all single men out there who feel sad on Valentine’s day.

Women and Mr. Kwan in STEM

“An Evening Celebrating Women in STEM” took place this year on Tuesday, January 29 in our own MPR. Hosted by the Explorit Science Center, The American Association of University Women, and DVCA, this event was a hit for girls of all ages throughout the Davis area.

This evening event boasted a panel of six female scientists in occupations ranging from the Chief Economist at the California Department of Finance, who examines trends that occur over people and money across the state, to a retired Laboratory Director of the California Department of Justice DNA Lab, who studied the tiny things within us that make each person different. Attendees learned about each panel members’ education and the path that each took to their current positions. Teigen Johnson, a Da Vinci junior, observed that, “Each woman had a passion for their career and it was great to hear about their personal experiences and what fascinates them about their individual fields.”

After the panel introductions, smaller groups of attendees had the opportunity to speak with each woman. Johnson added, “I learned that you can reach high places and become successful and happy, without having a plan or knowing what you would like to do while you’re still just in high school.” Leaving with another bit of wisdom, Johnson notes, “No matter your gender, just be determined and work harder than those around you.”

The beauty in events like this are in the unique experiences and interactions for everyone attending – even to Mr. Kwan, our famed Physics and Chemistry teacher. Mr. Kwan also attended this event, pointing out, “Your career path is very subject to change and that’s okay and that you should do what interests you so you can do it for a long time. It’s not just a job, it’s a career.” This is universal, whether or not you are looking to be a woman in STEM, or to be a world renowned florist. Taking the time to find what you love and enjoy becomes worth it.

Ultimately, the lessons from the event can be repurposed in many walks of life. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s okay to not have a perfectly defined education and career plan, as long as you also work hard, are determined to succeed, and to seek things that bring you joy. On a final note, Mr. Kwan reminds everyone, “It’s definitely an event that will continue to happen and should happen again.” Keep an eye out for a flyer for the next event!

Fyre Festival

In 2017, over 5,000 people bought tickets to a mysteriously luxurious event expecting Coachella on a private island, but what they got was more like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

In 2016, Billy McFarland needed a way to promote his new talent booking app, Fyre. Essentially what the app did was it allowed normal people, for a fee, to have some celebrity hang out with them, or perform for them, or anything along those lines. Now what McFarland and his team came up with was a luxurious music festival on a private island, with great food and famous people and amazing scenery.

It was a chance for people to be able to escape their lives- but only if they could pay upwards of $1,000.

In conception, the plan was solid, and for a little while, McFarland and his crew were feeling confident. They hired many famous models like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid to shoot videos to market the festival. This phase of the plan culminated when around 250 influencers simultaneously posted an orange tile on their Instagram, reaching millions of people.

It was a perfect they were selling what appeared to be a dream, and people bought it. Issues started to arise, however, when the cost of putting on the event started to increase.

With dwindling funding and rising expenses, McFarland came up with a plan to get even more money from the attendees. In an attempt to make the event “cardless and cashless” they created a mobile paying device called “Fyre Bands” that the participants could load with cash ahead of time and swipe payment at the festival. He suggested loading $400 for every day that they planned to attend, and through this, Fyre was able to acquire another $800,000 dollars.

Fast-forward to just hours until the guests are set to arrive, and a huge rain storm hits the island of Great Exuma. This was absolutely the final straw and is the factor that demolished any possibility of the event being salvaged. The “villas” (which were actually hurricane relief tents with mattresses) were soaked by the rain rendering them unusable.

Trying their best to fix things before people arrived, the guests were taken to a beach party and provided with alcohol so they would (hopefully) forget that they were not getting the luxury experience they had paid thousands for. Unfortunately, people noticed after being there for six hours that something was up. Eventually, buses arrived and led all of the attendees to a very rude awakening.

Not only were their living quarters destroyed by rain, but the food was also far from gourmet with salad lacking dressing, and a sandwich comprised solely of one slice of cheese. These conditions caused the rich to revolt. People were stockpiling mattresses, toilet paper, and pillows. This was obviously brought on by a gross misrepresentation of the actual event but also because there were not nearly enough resources to cover all of the attendees.

After the disaster of the first night, people just wanted to leave, which was impossible due to the fact that the high volume of travelers overwhelmed the Great Exuma airport. Because of this, the already furious attendees were forced to stay at the airport with a lack of food and water. Eventually, they were all flown back to Miami and many of the participants decided to take legal action against Fyre.

In total, there were seven lawsuits filed against different people within the Fyre company. The first was a class-action lawsuit filed by Daniel Jung for millions of dollars on behalf of over 150 other participants that claimed Fyre breached their covenant of good faith, had negligent misrepresentation as well as many other things. The other six lawsuits had similar claims and all wanted a large sum of money as reparations for the damage and loss the event caused.

The lawsuits were not the only legal action brought upon by Fyre Festival. On May 17th, 2017, Billy McFarland was arrested for wire fraud. Later, he pleaded guilty to another count of wire fraud and was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors by doctoring documents that lead investors to believe that the Fyre app was making much more money than it actually was.

The legal proceedings culminated when McFarland was tried on October 18th, 2018 and sentenced to six years in prison and had to pay $26 million dollars for wire fraud. McFarland is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute: Otisville.

Since then, two documentaries have been made about the scandal and this publicity has helped to crowd raise funds to compensate the people that had been left unpaid after Fyre Festival fell apart.

Although this story seems hilariously ridiculous from the outside, once you look closer the damage that it left in its wake becomes more evident. Thanks to Fyre Festival, all can laugh, but also have more caution about what is to be found on the internet.

Performances in Winter Feast

One of the most memorable fixtures of Da Vinci’s Winter Feast is the student talent show. In previous years, students sang, played instruments, and even brought together bands. Among this year’s performances, we saw senior Valerie Alden’s heartfelt rap and a band of juniors take the stage with a performance of Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin.

Behind their amazing performances were hours and hours of practice. From choosing the words of her song to practicing and perfecting it, Alden explains the story behind her song, “I’m thanking Da Vinci for all they’ve done to help me three years.” Her expression in her music was to leave an impactful message. “Because I’m a senior and I’m excited and sad to be leaving the Dino family and I thought I would say thank you in a unique way.”

Seniors Sam McGlynn, Aleksei Kaufman, Alex Weinshilboum and Nico Chequain sing a rendition of ‘Mine Diamonds’ with sophomore Aaron Eckey

Speaking to her experience in the genre, Alden says, “With rap I can get out my feelings. I enjoy making music because I’ve been rapping since 9th grade . It’s fun and healthy way to get out your emotions and feelings.”

One way that Carter Luck, John Campi and David Carlip was able to display their musical expertise was through their thoughtful song selection, chosen for its solos. Another difficulty their group encountered was finding a song, despite their lack of vocalist. Luck notes, “Since we didn’t have a vocalist, we tried to find songs without vocals and a focus on solos.” Their song was a great display of their talents, while being mindful of their constraint.

Senior Eric Aguilar rips on the guitar during a performance of The Eagles’ Hotel California

Like Alden, Luck also had a background in his music, but instead of with rapping, with playing the drums. He says, “I have played drums for about five years. I like being in the zone and playing cool solos.”

2018 Da Vinci alumni Camilo Rodriguez and Carson Janke perform an original song

Through all of the performances, the souls of each student shined, as they displayed not only just a performance, but something they each loved.

2018 Horoscopes

Mercury stays in retrograde until the 5th of December. Because Mercury is the planet of thinking and communication, when it’s rotation is backwards, it affects scheduling, judgement, and innovation. Read more about how your sun sign will be affected during Mercury retrograde.

Aries (March 21- April 19): Being quick witted and fast moving, it’s frustrating to be in a rut for Aries. For Aries during this time it’s hard for them to move forward when everything seems to be going back. If you’re not thinking consciously, then your words will come off as hurtful. Be patient, this funk will pass.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Generally a calm and collected sign, Taurus isn’t used to making impulsive decisions. However during this time Taurus won’t think twice about making a decision. There are pros and cons to your actions, you’ll be less mindful of your personal relationships and money but you will be taken out of your comfort zone. Consider whether it’s worth it when it comes to these decisions.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20): Mercury is Gemini’s ruler, so when it’s in retrograde Gemini’s whole world is off– But luckily due to Gemini being a mutable sign it can make the best out of a bad situation. When you see road blocks these next few weeks, try to attempt to think outside of the box and find another route.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22): This is a trying time for Cancers. Cancers will be receiving information (or misinformation) that they will send them into a spiral. Cancer will want to retreat to your own private island. Isolating itself isn’t the answer, it will stop Cancers from fixing problems. Force yourself to take action, face issues head on.

Leo (July 23 – August 22): Being a fixed sign, Leos love being in control and when they’re embarrassed, they get angry. Leo’s will be getting into situations where they will lose control and the spotlight, but they must try to keep their cool. Getting too aggressive will lose acquaintances respect and even friendships.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury, so when it’s in retrograde, everything is off for Virgo. Virgos are heavily dependent on organization, reliability, and logical thinking. When this is all off, there’s not much left to lean on. Leaning on it’s adaptability from being a mutable sign and your practical side from being an earth sign are the only things that are going to keep Virgo sane during retrograde.

Libra (September 23 – October 22): Most Libras tend to think that relationships are the most important thing– So when communication gets skewed it can feel isolating. People from your past will also be brought up again, whether it’s old friends or someone you barely knew. Libras should be committed to finding ways to stay in touch with these people.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Scorpio’s secrets will end up coming out one way or another in the next few weeks. They should be conscious of who they tell it to because they will have no control of what those people will do with the information you give them.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Now is not the time to travel. Expect in one way or another your plans falling through. Whether it’s your car breaking down or people flaking out on you, it will happen during retrograde. You should consider finding your friends that are close to you and spending time with them.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20): Your master planning and ambitions will be on hold these next few weeks. You will have to rely on others, and because you’re a cardinal sign, you’re used to taking the reins and doing everything yourself. Be patient and wait for these weeks to be over, then you’ll be right back on track.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 18): When technology fails, it will anger Aquarius. Aquarius is dependent on it to not only stay in contact with others and finding information. In the end this Mercury Retrograde will make you stronger, if you take the time to find alternate ways to stay in contact with others and finding information.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20): Pisces’ intuition will be clouded during Mercury’s retrograde. Now is the time to fall into daydreams and get into your own head. You’ll find solutions there.

How Did Da Vinci Spend Break?

As every student at Da Vinci knows, right around Thanksgiving there is a week with no school.

Although every student gets the same break, what they do with it differs greatly! From staying at home to traveling cross country, every student can agree that the break is greatly appreciated, and a nice rest from the stress of the school year.

Every year, sophomore Jonathon Huneke travels to Manteca with his family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his grandma’s house. While they are there, he enjoys watching football and seeing his grandma. As well as traveling during the break, Huneke played a lot of Fortnite, watched Disney Channel shows with his little sister, and hung out with his friends.

Senior Samantha Sheridan also left Davis for the break and drove to Lake Tahoe with her friends. They rented their own Air Bnb and while they were there they made pizza, ate cake, and played lots of board games. Sheridan said, “I was very grateful to be able to spend time with my friends as well as my family and for my wonderful group of friends. It was also really nice to be able to get out of Davis and into the wilderness.” She and her friends also have a tradition of doing a Friendsgiving celebration every year which is “Very important to me.” Sheridan notes.

Although Thanksgiving break is over, the holiday season is just getting kicked off! With Winter Break and then the New  Year not far out of sight, all students are excited for what’s to come. For now, however, the Vitruvian has collected data on what types of the pie the students of Da Vinci like to eat the best. This data will be viewable in a – you guessed it! Pie chart. This chart is as punny as it is informative, showing that apple is in the top spot with pumpkin and pecan not far behind.

Although Thanksgiving break is now over, everyone at the Vitruvian is wishing the students of Da Vinci a wonderful finals week,  Winter Break, and holiday season overall, and a very happy New Year!

Seniors Take On Early Applications!

The early application deadlines for colleges across the country have just passed.  On November 1st, seniors from every high school in the United States submitted applications to their schools of choice.  

In these college applications, the students are required to submit their transcripts, standardized testing scores and essays on various topics.  To normalize the application process, many colleges, from Harvey Mudd to Woodbury, accept a set of essay prompts known as the ‘common application.’  This year, there are seven different prompts, each with a word limit of 650 words. In order to stand out among the sea of applicants, students try to give a unique point of view without going over the word limit.  

Describing a common issue in responding to these prompts, senior Bailey Robinson Burmester said, “I had some serious writer’s block with the common app personal statement and then overshot the word count by over 1000 words. It was really painful to cut all those words.”

It is recommended that when writing an application, anyone should be able to pick it up on the streets, read your essays, and understand who you are. Through these personal statements and essay prompts, these students try and paint a picture of who they are.

While many schools exclusively use the common app, some schools also require additional information. Colleges such as Stanford require two essays, three short essays, and seven short response questions in addition to the personal statement and writing about extracurricular activities and leadership.  

Some students apply to many schools, while others wait for the normal application deadline.  Burmester applied to Stanford during early action applications, and is planning on applying to Harvard, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and the University of the Pacific for the normal admission. Senior Grace Range decided not to apply for any colleges in the early action period because she wanted to improve her essays before submission.  

After experiencing the application process, the seniors have some advice for the juniors and sophomores. “Do not procrastinate. I know you hear this all the time, but really,” Burmester said. “Start writing as soon as you can access the essay questions. If you can finish, or at least make a good headway before school starts, you will experience a lot less stress in the beginning of your senior year.”

While it is important to work on your college apps and think about your future, it is also important to enjoy your senior year. “Senior year is your last year of high school,” Range said. “So make sure you make time for the people and things that matter.”

With the normal application deadline rapidly approaching, most seniors will continue to work on their essays to maximize their chances of getting into the college of their choice.


How Does Da Vinci Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is coming up next Thursday, giving students both time away from school and time to spend with family and loved ones! Although Thanksgiving itself stays fairly traditional from household to household, Da Vinci students have their own ways to honor Turkey Day.

Senior Samantha Sheridan loves Thanksgiving and recalls it as a family-centric holiday. “I spend it at my house and all my family comes over,” she said, “It’s kind of a tradition. We move everything out of my living room and rent tables. My siblings and I will wake up really early to watch the parade, and our job is always to decorate the table. It’s really wonderful.”

Principal Millsap also spends his Thanksgiving in a traditional way. In fact, he has two. “I do Thanksgiving with my side of the family on Thanksgiving at my house,” he said. “And then, with my wife’s side of the family which is much bigger, we go to a cabin in Kyburz and that’s a big old Thanksgiving in the mountains, which is pretty cool.”

However, turkey and mashed potatoes isn’t what everyone is chewing on next Thursday. Psychology teacher Brittany Rosenberg and her mother are both vegetarian. “I’m a vegetarian and so is my mom, so we get a turkey for my dad and husband, but we usually have sweet potatoes, and sometimes mac and cheese, and a salad and rolls.”

For junior Justin Yeung, even potatoes aren’t on the menu. He spends his Thanksgiving with family eating dim sum, but he still has his favorite Thanksgiving traditions. “My uncle and aunt do not like garlic or onions. We order this chicken dish with fried garlic, and my uncle was eating it, and he was like, ‘This is pretty good,’ and then his son said, ‘Hey Dad, you see those little things that look like rice? That’s garlic.’ Then he stopped eating it.”

Junior Ava MacDonald also has a favorite holiday tradition. “My family always does a puzzle,” she said, “We get out a really big puzzle and we do it all day.”

All over campus, Da Vinci students are preparing for their family holidays, which includes a vast majority of foods. Here’s what some of them will be eating:

“Mashed potatoes!” – Ava MacDonald (11)

“Stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, biscuits, cranberry, turkey!” – Ms. Barbie (student teacher)

“Tamales and turkey,” – Ramiro CL (12)

“Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, all the usual stuff, and then my wife’s mom makes one of those weird salads. It’s got jello with fruit in it and cream cheese on top. It’s a little weird,” – Millsap (principal).

Regardless of what will be on your table this Thanksgiving, make sure to enjoy it. From all of us here at The Vitruvian, happy Thanksgiving!

Da Vinci’s First Music Class!

Have you heard music playing during your seventh period? If so, you’re hearing Da Vinci’s brand new mariachi band! The seventh period class is currently held in the presentation room and taught by DHS band teacher Mr. Slabaugh. The band originally started as an extracurricular, but with the help of Mr. Millsap and junior Sofia Huston-Isias, it turned into a full-fledged class!

The original mariachi club is still operating, and many of the club members have joined the class. In addition, this is the only class that DHS students have to travel to!

Huston-Isais enjoys mariachi band more than other bands because, “with mariachi music, you can play around with the music more rather than the symphonic band where you are always being told what to do. But in mariachi, there is a lot of improvisation.” She also explained that she enjoys the class because it is smaller than other bands and the size allows the class to work with other people that play the same instruments.

In addition, Sophomore Zoraya Phillips says, “I like being able to express part of my culture that I do not usually express.” Phillips plays guitar, and although this is her first year playing in a mariachi band, she has played many different instruments before.

The main instruments in a mariachi band are trumpets, guitarrons, armonias (an instrument similar to a guitar but smaller), guitars, and violins. When a musician’s instrument is not playing at that moment, they will most likely be singing the lyrics to the songs. All the songs that the band plays are in Spanish, therefore almost all of the students in the band speak Spanish.

Another member of the band, sophomore Antonio Velasquez, was and still is a member of both the mariachi club and class. When asked which he prefers he said, “Definitely the class. With the class, we have a lot more potential to grow and expand.” He also noted another difference between the class and the club stating, “We’re starting from scratch, we don’t have members that have been active for years.”

Despite the fact that many of the musicians are in a mariachi band for the first time, they play beautifully and the class has already performed in front of our office staff! Exciting things are on track for this class and Da Vinci is eager to see the concerts in their future!