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

Many young athletes battle body dysmorphia, driven by a variety of social and athletic pressures. From dances strict emphasis on perfect alignment to the double-edged use of weight classes in sports like wrestling, body image issues manifest themselves in across a variety of athletic disciplines.

Body dysmorphia pervades athletics

by Eva Cheng and Katerina Matta March 8, 2024

Trigger warning for discussion of body image and dysmorphia.  “Did you eat a watermelon today?”  An anonymous dancer recalled hearing the insensitive comment from a teacher at her studio,...

Attendance Coordinator Ritu Raj smiles as she reads an email at the front desk in Main Hall. In addition to tracking the attendance of over 800 students at the upper school, Raj promotes wellbeing and supports those around her through resilience coaching.

Meet your staff: Compassion in coordination

by Mendy Mao and Ella Yee October 1, 2023

Arriving late because of traffic? Need to leave school early for a doctor’s appointment? Upper School Attendance Coordinator Ritu Raj can help you. Seated at the Main hall front desk, she is the first...

With suicide in the top three leading causes of death amongst teenagers, it’s alarming that we are so used to hearing these words that we don’t notice them anymore. These jokes trivialize suicidal thoughts and imply that this problem is commonplace, normal and even insignificant.

Editorial: Insensitive jokes harm environment

by Editorial Board November 30, 2022

Content warning: This article mentions suicide. For free and confidential support, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Discussions of concerns circulate the room as anticipation rises for...

In the aftermath of countless mass shootings and an intrusion on our own campus, we cannot be passive bystanders and wait for a more dangerous situation to happen to us in order to enact change. Our system for responding to school shootings needs an update.

Editorial: Responses for school safety require an update

by Editorial Board September 14, 2022

This June, Harker encountered an unarmed intruder on campus — one of the rare times when a shelter-in-place was not a drill. With this incident and the heartbreaking school shooting at Robb Elementary...

This article tells the stories of students personal experiences relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impacts in sports, music and health. Solitude became our reality from March of 2020 to June of 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued on, and more social connection has emerged out of the return to in-person learning this school year.

‘A reality check’: Students share their personal stories with COVID-19

by Sarah Mohammed and Isha Moorjani March 31, 2022

Small rectangular boxes fill the computer screen, each one carrying a familiar face, a friend or a teacher. The Zoom page serves as the only window to “normal” life. A day at the upper school, once...

Many young athletes struggle to prioritize mental health while juggling academic and athletic commitments. A survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that 68% of student-athletes have anxiety high enough to require therapeutic support.

‘No athlete wants to step back’

by Sarah Mohammed and Tiffany Chang November 27, 2021

Basketball and track and field athlete Alexa Lowe (12) remembers the winter and spring seasons when she would arrive home late at night after a tiring day of practice. The pressure to be more efficient...

As we come back, we’re questioning what we used to consider “normal.” Sometimes, it all feels like too much.

Editorial: Changing our meaning of ‘normal’

by Editorial Board November 17, 2021

We've been back for 11 weeks on our upper school campus at Saratoga, finally back to lunches with friends, back to commuting in the morning, back to after-school sports practices and games, performing...

Playing the cello became a chore, rather than a luxury. While practicing, I could feel my hope disappearing as I counted the number of minutes I played.

This I Believe: The right decision for myself

by Sally Zhu, A&E and Lifestyle Editor November 4, 2021

My fingers fly across the cello’s four strings, my mind focuses on maintaining the tempo as I sit in the soft black chair in my room. A music stand with black and white pages of notes stares back at...

On the final day of the Olympics, seven days after she last appeared in the arena, Simone Biles returned to compete on the beam, not expecting to receive an award and saying “I was just going out there doing this for me.” Just like Biles, you have the power of choice—the power to sacrifice immediate results to take care of your well-being and to pave the way for long-term fulfillment.

Power of choice: Olympians set example of strength in making healthy decisions

by Arely Sun, Co-Managing Editor August 15, 2021

“It doesn’t matter what vault she does—it’s a showstopper,” said a NBC Sports reporter in a live broadcast. Eyes focused ahead, Simone Biles set off in a sprint, jumped from the springboard and...

My biggest tip [for young writers], the thing I would have told myself, is just to be as weird as you are in your writing. Let your images be strange. Pretend youre talking to yourself: give yourself that permission to talk. Be as weird as you are, Benaim said.

The Poet’s Project: “Poetry can show us what is possible”

by Sabrina Benaim, Guest Writer April 12, 2021

Sabrina Benaim is a poet from Canada who believes in the power of words as a source of togetherness, love and solidarity in the face of hardship. From teaching at workshops to posting snippets of small...

In 2018, 25% of the approximately 1,000 people fatally shot by police in the U.S. had mental illness. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), a structure in law enforcement designed to minimize accounts of injury or death in encounters between police and people with mental illness, failed to reduce the use of force.

Press and police fail to address mental health episodes

by Nicole Tian, Opinions Editor March 6, 2021

Two days before New Year’s Day, 19-year-old Christian Hall stood on a highway overpass in Pennsylvania. He had contacted the police, hoping that they could offer him assistance in the middle of a mental...

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