The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Melissa Kwan , TALON Seniors Editor

Melissa Kwan is a junior and the Seniors Editor for TALON Yearbook. This is Melissa's third year on staff. In her free time, Melissa plays volleyball for her school and club team.

All content by Melissa Kwan
“This is like a melting pot of Cupertino, Lynbrook, Saratoga, some people from De Anza, so you meet all kinds of people,” Rahul Mehta (12) said. “Half the time I’m not even playing with my friends, so I’m playing with random people. You start off in the beginning a bit wary of each other, and then by end you’re playing like they’re your friends. It’s kind of gradual. Like after a really cool play, you’ll high five each other, and that’s how it all begins.”

Humans of Harker: Rahul Mehta befriends others through banter

by Melissa Kwan, Humans of Harker managing editor
June 24, 2018
“I want to be remembered for being wise and kind, and I chose the word wise specifically because I dont want to be remembered as smart, Lauren Russell (12) said. I want to be remembered as being able to look at a situation and react maturely, appropriately but also kindly based on what I know.”

Humans of Harker: Lauren Russell participates with intention

by Anmol Velagapudi and Melissa Kwan, Reporter
May 3, 2018
You guys all saw me on Davis at 7:30 in the morning, practicing, because I didn’t want to make a complete fool of myself, Vignesh Panchanatham (12) said. I was just doing different dribbling drills. I brought out the cones, and whenever the goals were out, I tried to shoot as well. I knew I wasn’t going to be better than anybody there, but I wanted to be semi-competent. And as the season went on, I could see that I was getting better and better. Traps that I would have missed out on before, I started to get them. My shot got better; I ended up scoring a goal. It was just as time went by and I kept putting in that same amount of effort, I became less of a beginner and more of someone who has a lot to work on.

Humans of Harker: Vignesh Panchanatham perspires for greatness

by Melissa Kwan, Humans of Harker Managing Editor
April 6, 2018
 “A couple years ago, I had a blood test, and my doctor said I had to watch out for pre-diabetes, Jay Ali said. My family has a history of having diabetes and a bunch of diseases. I’ve seen my grandma inject insulin in her body every day, and I decided I didn’t want to go down that path. I started working out every day and trying to get in shape, because I didn’t want to have diabetes for the rest of my life. I think health is really important because without health, nothing else is important in life. For example, Steve Jobs. He didn’t have such a healthy body, but he was a really special guy to everyone else. I kind of want to be that guy, but with no health issues so I can live my life to the fullest.

Humans of Harker: Jay Ali focuses on self-improvement

by Nilisha Baid, Reporter
March 26, 2018
During summer, I had an internship in [San Francisco], and I brought my junior mentality with me, so I was trying to be perfect and I was stressed about everything, Preethi Madabusi (12) said. The manager sat me down and we had a performance review, so he was analyzing my performance and he said that I was a really hard worker but there was one thing I needed to fix, and that was that I needed to calm down. He said that I tried to be perfect and no one can be perfect. Thats when I realized if other people can notice that about me, thats something I should really change.

Humans of Harker: Preethi Madabusi opens up during conversations

by Shreya Srinivasan, Reporter
March 19, 2018
“I try to make all serious situations a lot more friendly, and generally lighten the mood of everyone around me, Sahil Kapur (12) said. “In general, I like to see the people around me happy.

Humans of Harker: Sahil Kapur uses humor to lighten the mood

by Shreya Srinivasan & Melissa Kwan
February 3, 2018
“Its kind of interesting that when people think of Liana, they think of dance,” Liana Wang (12) said. “Theres nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I wish that they took time to realize that Im not just a dancer, and that I do many other things. I just did a piece recently that was a combination of spoken-word poetry and dance, and it was primarily about stereotypes and grouping people into these different categories — and trying to break away from that. I think people should define themselves by who they want to be. I dont think you can say, Oh, I am this, I am that, no, you dont even really need to define yourself — you can just be as you are.”

Humans of Harker: Liana Wang pushes the boundaries of identity

by Karina Chen & Melissa Kwan
January 30, 2018
“I did a lot of acting in elementary school, Millie Lin (12) said. I had a lot of energy. Instead of standing in line, I’d be tapping my toes. I don’t know if I have as much energy now, but I do really like having philosophical discussions with people, or just talking with people in general. I think that’s where I use my energy.”

Humans of Harker: Millie Lin devotes her energy to discussions

by Vivian Jin & Melissa Kwan
January 18, 2018
“I use the word fun a lot to describe debate, and what that means is kind of a mystery even to me, Jacob Ohana (12) said. Debates definitely not a universally agreed upon fun thing. You just get four teenagers in a room to talk really fast at each other for a while, and then somebody wins. For me, most of the fun of debate isnt the the actual debating, its doing the research about it. Last years topic was engagement with China... I learned a surprisingly large amount about nuclear arms control agreements.”

Humans of Harker: Jacob Ohana backs up his arguments

by Anvi Banga & Melissa Kwan
January 12, 2018
“I want to play my strengths, but I don’t want to let those strengths define me. I don’t want to confine myself to a little box where people associate me with a select few qualities,” Alex Chen (12) said. “But if I had to pick, I would hope that people would remember me for putting a lot of effort in developing as a musician, as a singer, as well as a drummer, and a guitarist. I’d want to be remembered for my ability to reflect on the world.”

Humans of Harker: Alex Chen finds strength in introspection

by Sydney Takemoto, Reporter
January 5, 2018
“You have to embrace high school while it lasts,” Olivia Long (12) said. “I really wasnt doing much in my freshman year—it was just gymnastics, school, sleep, repeat. You hear about the stereotypical high school experience, and it seems so fun and everybody’s so involved, so I wanted to take part in that. Cheerleading lets me show school spirit.”

Humans of Harker: Olivia Long balances old and new

by Krishna Bheda, Columnist
November 3, 2017

Photo Frenzy 10/23/17

November 1, 2017
“When I think about my high school as a unit, I find its defined by a lot of events and a lot of trends, its just that some of those trends, like especially me starting to sing—theyre not connected at all to any goal I had when I stepped onto the campus,” Praveen Batra (12) said. “I remember at the first club fair I heard Guys’ Gig, they were touring, and I thought, ‘Wow, thats one club Im never going to join.’ So if you look, theres a big disconnect between what my vision of what my high school would be like and where it actually turned out being.”

Humans of Harker: Praveen Batra masters both types of keyboard

by Derek Yen, Winged Post Opinion Editor
October 31, 2017
“Life should have variation,” Karena Kong (12) said. Its boring to live every day, day to day on the same schedule. You should always do what you really want, live by your interests and have fun instead of living by this rigid standard. Theres times when youre experimenting, and its okay to be spontaneous and make a mess. You never know what might turn out.”

Humans of Harker: Karena Kong values variety

by Julia Huang, TALON Academics Editor
October 27, 2017
“People might describe me as a troll,” Kevin Xu (12) said. “I guess being lighthearted is a good characteristic to have in general. Ive naturally been pretty friendly to people, and theyve returned the favor to me. I just think a lot of my relationships are built off that personality—being lighthearted and empathetic.”

Humans of Harker: Kevin Xu solves nontraditional problems

by Andrew Chang, TALON Organizations Editor
October 24, 2017
“One day I went to India and I saw a chickens head getting chopped off and a whole line of sacrificial animals,” Aria Coalson (12) said. “I had befriended a goat in the line, and that’s when I realized that they were going to kill and eat the goat. After that, I turned hard core vegetarian.”

Humans of Harker: Aria Coalson advocates for others

by Maya Kumar, Wingspan Managing Editor
October 23, 2017
“I just have a different outlook on the world,” Meena Gudapati (12) said. “I’m probably not the only one who thinks this way, but I don’t really think anything is a big deal. Tests aren’t a big deal; the ACT isn’t a big deal; college isn’t a big deal. It’s all fine. The world is so big. Nothing matters. It’s all for fun, you know? I don’t really get worried about those things. They’re all just little bits and pieces, and they don’t actually ruin the world or anything.”

Humans of Harker: Meena Gudapati finds the fun in life

by Sahana Srinivasan, Winged Post and Wingspan Co-Editor-In-Chief
October 13, 2017
I felt like there were parts of my personality that I left behind in this pursuit of being a public figure, Jimmy Lin (12) said. One of the ways I tried to reconcile this was to intentionally do things that I was bad at, to force myself—at least during volleyball season—to spend three hours every day being that humble person, whether I liked it or not.

Humans of Harker: Jimmy Lin stays humble

by Melissa Kwan, Humans of Harker Managing Editor
October 5, 2017
Aditi Vinod (9) adds blue details on the Class of 2021 eagle with a small paintbrush. The freshmen painted an ombré blue sky on their eagle to represent the clear blue skies they hoped were lying ahead.

Spirit Night kicks off Homecoming week preparations

by Melissa Kwan, Humans of Harker Managing Editor
September 15, 2017
What I really eventually hope is that in clinical practice one day, some of the [research] work that Ive done will be incorporated to help someone somewhere either get an earlier diagnosis or understand their situation at a better level than they would have before, so my ultimate goal is really just to find a way to use the resources that we have as privileged students of The Harker School to make a difference in someones life who might not have the same opportunities, Manan Shah (12) said.

Humans of Harker: Manan Shah develops a love for helping

by Rose Guan, Winged Post Copy Editor
December 9, 2016
Cafe Vitale: Home-style Italian

Cafe Vitale: Home-style Italian

by Melissa Kwan, TALON Seniors Editor
February 7, 2017
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