“One thing is certain: the arts keep you alive.” – Vincent Price
In 2010, Stanley Fish declared in the New York Times that the “crisis of the humanities” had officially arrived. In the years following, numerous articles debated and discussed what was happening to the arts and humanities in our schools. Statistics were thrown around. Studies were analyzed. Some lamented the humanities’ apparent end. Others were convinced that they were still thriving.
I sincerely hope that the latter is true, considering all of my experiences at Dublin High School . It was in my English class that I delved into lessons of morality and social responsibility. It was in my art class that I forced my mind to think creatively and unexpectedly. And it was in my Spanish class that made me crave for a world unfamiliar, something that proved crucial when it was time to commit to college.
I could go on and on about why I love the arts and humanities, but I’d rather introduce the heart of this article instead – a new OneDublin.org series: “I am … Arts & Humanities”. This series will spotlight Dublin High School students who are keeping the arts alive in our community. We have musicians, artists, and writers who will hopefully inspire other budding creators to proudly declare “I am a ___.”
Lilla Lavankul (Dublin High Class of 2016) and Marissa Wu (Castro Valley High Class of 2015) emit the same bright and welcoming personality as their online publication, LIME Magazine for girls. Originally a small project intended to keep summer friends together, LIME has flourished into a platform of empowerment, filled with advice, culture, and career spotlights for people of any age to learn from.
“It’s kind of like a lifeguide,” Wu, the one who pitched the idea for LIME, says.
“Like the big sister you’ve never had,” Lavankul adds.
As the editor-in-chiefs, Lavankul and Wu are responsible for publishing articles, managing social media, and overseeing the girls who write for LIME. They have twelve writers, publish approximately six times a month, and have reached over 10,000 views since their founding in 2013. Their magazine spans eight categories: DIY, Beauty/Style, Books, Movies, Music, Food, Travel, and Limelight.
“We’re always curious about what people will write about,” Wu says.
LIME has articles covering everything from orange palmier recipe reviews, graduation gift ideas, and history lessons on Fashion Week. They also have a section called Limelight, dedicated to career spotlights, interviews, and different organizations.
For Dublin High School junior Hailey Lampi, helping actors ‘get in character’ takes on a whole new meaning. As a makeup artist for a local theatre company, Grand Performing Arts (GPA), Lampi’s job is to make sure that actors go onstage with their makeup and costume complete, ready to captivate the audience.
Doing crazy things with makeup has been one of Lampi’s favorite hobbies since middle school. However, since not many of her friends wanted to come to school looking like a zombie or Darth Maul, there weren’t as many opportunities to hone her skills as she would have liked. However, this changed when Lampi learned that her family friends – and the owners of GPA – Kristi Grand and Ryan Joslin had an open spot for a makeup artist.
Although Lampi is volunteering with a theater company, her original inspirations came from the big screen.
“Growing up, my brother never wanted to watch any girly Barbie or princess movies. I also grew up with a lot of cousins. Because of this, I watched a lot of action and adventure movies. My favorites were Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, things like that. We would also watch TV shows as a family and when we started The Walking Dead, I was fascinated by the walkers (zombies) in the show. The special effects artist was Greg Nicotero and he became my inspiration.”
It is often encouraging to follow the story of one of Dublin’s native sons. It is even more exciting when it is attached to an athletic accomplishment – not by him. But, by the team that he help to guide to greatness. Noel Sollom-Brotherton graduated from Dublin High School in 2005. On top of being an excellent student and leader, he also lettered as a competitive swimmer.
The 2015 season represented a pinnacle – an achievement that has never been achieved relative to capturing a team championship. How did this happen? As a youth, he competed with the Briarhill Cabana Club in Dublin, California. It was as much of his upbringing as attending school. Upon graduation from DHS, the urge to guide and to cultivate young swimmers never wavered. At the time, he had matriculated to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA – a relatively small liberal arts institution. Mr. Sollom-Brotherton focused on a Studio Arts degree and attained this B.A in less than four years. The academic focus was centered on Painting, Sculpture and Photography – among other disciplines. His presence at this Division III University also provided him the opportunity to continue participating in competitive swimming. Subsequently, he attained his Single-Subject Teaching Credential from the University of Puget Sound. So, the question remained – which path to choose?
During his interim summers, Noel returned to Dublin and coached young swimmers. This primarily cemented his thought process that he would pursue a career in education. While he could have easily remained in the state of WA, his application to join the Dublin Unified School District was met with mutual interest and he commenced his career at DHS in the fall of 2011.
But the allegiance with the sport of swimming was never far behind and he committed himself to leading the Dublin Green Gators Swim Team – a City-led endeavor for close to eight years. As a member of the Tri-Valley Swim League, the Green Gators regularly competed against teams in the local area. While it has been a steady climb, the team experienced their first ever League championship in late July – completing a perfect 6-0 competition record in addition to a first place finish in the championship swim meet. We couldn’t resist the urge to gather Coach Noel’s thoughts on this accomplishment. And, we also wanted to harvest his thoughts as an educator. Read more…
Life at Utah State University – Dublin High School 2014 Alum Alyssa Collins Reflects on Her Freshman Year
Nestled on a shelf-like foothill at the northern most part of the state resides Utah State University. The campus exists less than a mile from downtown Logan. USU is the largest public residential campus in the state and more than 16,000 students live either on or adjacent to campus. It is also 815 miles away from Dublin. In our newest entry in the Life in College Series, we are pleased to share the experiences of Alyssa Collins. We sat down during her recent July return to home and the discussion was a revelation.
Whether or not she realized it at the time, Alyssa’s motives for a career were exposed to her at an early age. Her mother, Carrie, provided childcare services for many years out of their home and Alyssa was the oldest of three children. So, she has been around young people for her entire life. However, as her junior year approached, Ms. Collins knew that she would need to make her college choice with greater precision. She thought that a career in education would suit her interests in supporting children. But, she also has a fascination with Korean culture and wanted to at least take a Korean language class. So, the research began with the assistance of her mother. Alas, they found an institution with the highest in-state rating in Elementary Education and one that offered Korean language courses. As if to verify her thought process, Alyssa enrolled in an Elementary Education class through ROP which allowed her to intern in a first grade setting at Frederiksen Elementary School. This experience cemented her decision to someday become a teacher. The family considered additional options both in California and those out of state. But, an on-campus visit followed by an USU “Out of State” weekend for potential enrollees sealed the deal. We asked Alyssa to share observations on her first year in college.
OneDublin.org: Once you decided upon a path of pursuing a degree in early/elementary education, what were the factors that led you to Utah State University. Was it the quality of the program and/or the size of the institution?
In the words of Assistant Superintendent Keith Rogenski, Monday was a “big” night for the Dublin Unified School District. A special meeting of the board of trustees was established – primary to address these new leadership appointments for their respective school sites.
Over the years, we have witnessed the fluid nature of leadership within this district and Monday was no different. Specifically, Mr. Rogenski was offered the opportunity to speak on behalf of several candidates for four existing vacancies. Upon which, he would turn the mantle over to Superintendent Steve Hanke to make the recommendation to the board of trustees. Subsequently, the board would entertain a motion to appoint with a following second of motion and then a vote by the entire board.
In order, let us review the actions of the board tonight:
For senior Cindy Won, the cello’s rich and brilliant notes are like a second language—one she has been studying since the age of five. In the past twelve years, Won has been an cellist for several organizations, including the Del Sol Quartet, the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and now, starting her fourth year, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO).
“I remember having practiced the same excerpts, scales, and solo piece for nine months straight through two auditions,” says Won, as she relates her journey to earn a coveted spot in the SFSYO. “I’ve actually wanted to join this orchestra since seventh grade, when I first saw them live at the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival (BAYOF Hope). There was something incredibly special about this orchestra in comparison to the orchestra I had previously been in and the other ones at the festival; anyone could noticeably see the passion in how the musicians played.”
Passion is something not unfamiliar to Cindy Won, who allows music to be a “personal companion,” whether it be through her cello practices, or the whistling and singing she is known by her friends to do on a regular basis.
“Music is definitely something that I am able to connect with and be able to express the inexpressible…on a personal note, there is a beauty and intimacy about music that one cannot just snatch away,” Won says. “Music really allows people, especially our youth who will transcend into the next generation, to comprehend the environment in which they live in.”