By Emily Xia
Junior Ethan Malone
Junior Ethan Malone has been practicing pen tricks since he was in seventh grade, drawing inspiration from videos on YouTube. In his experience, the best pens are custom-made in Asia, with even-weight distribution and ideal symmetry. His personal favorite is the “Waterfall” pen, and the most popular in general is the Buster Crayola, more commonly known as the Buster CYL. Both of these pens have even weighting and are specifically modified for pen spinning.
Junior Patricia Saito
Junior Patricia Saito found out that she had perfect pitch in middle school. Although Saito has had previous music experience playing the piano since she was six, she never realized she had this skill until her friends told her — this is because she had never learned music theory, which requires further knowledge beyond playing. Written notes on a regular scale (C, D and E) correspond to sounds on the solfège scale (do, re and mi), and each note is linked to a particular sound.
Junior Chelina Wong
Junior Chelina Wong first found out she could wiggle her ears after a head injury in middle school. Although the ability doesn’t particularly affect her life, she believes it’s quirky and fun to have such a random talent.
History teacher David Hartford
History teacher David Hartford first learned how to tie neckties as bowties in high school speech and debate. He now has around 20 bowties, some of which are kept in a drawer in his classroom in case he forgets to bring one to school. Hartford has been attempting to start what he coined “Bowtie Block Day,” during which the participant wears a bowtie every block day. The movement has been popular among his students and a few of the teachers in his department.
Sophomore Parth Asawa
Sophomore Parth Asawa can solve squares, factorials and other algebra problems within 20 seconds. Although he never took classes for it, he was able to use these skills in his Mathcounts competitions. Each competition has three rounds, with timed intervals to solve a certain number of problems. However, these competitions were shut down when he was in eighth grade, and he now uses his math skills in his Calculus BC class.
Math and computer science teacher Joe Kim
Math and computer science teacher Joe Kim first started splitting apples four years ago, when he was eating lunch with a friend. After a quick internet search and attempting to split three apples, he finally succeeded and started performing the trick in front of his students. He also knows how to rip bananas in half without squishing the fruit inside. Kim is planning to continue showing his future students his skills, as they’re always a crowd-pleaser in class.
Senior Harshita Rao
Senior Harshita Rao didn’t realize that her shoulders were double jointed until freshman year, when her color guard dance instructor was leading the team through warmups. Not only are her shoulders hyper-flexible, but so are her fingers. She doesn’t think her skill has much of an impact in her life, but she enjoys the look on her friends’ faces when she shows it to them.