What’s New on Netflix? Tara Ragsdale-Cronin

Netflix has always been a great place for me to go to find new releases or discover new thrilling TV shows. This year, Netflix has been releasing a couple of shows that have become more familiar to people. As a studious Netflix-watcher, I was really interested in the release of Riverdale. During the fall, other shows such as Stranger Things 2, American Crime Story, Narcos, BoJack Horseman, Greenhouse Academy, American Vandal, Fuller House, and Alias Grace have been released in the past few months.

When I was growing up, I read Archie Comics for fun. Archie Comics is a continuous comic strip that shows comedy in the fictional life of an average red-headed teenage boy, Archie Andrews from Riverdale, his best friend Jughead Jones, and his two girlfriends Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. Other characters are part of the comic as well. When the show Riverdale was released early this year, I was really excited and surprised that there was a show based off of a comic. After I saw Season 1 in about a week, I was totally surprised as to how well it was directed.. The plot was thrilling and the cast was well chosen. In general, Riverdale is about Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, and Veronica Lodge’s adventure of solving different problems that arise in the town of Riverdale. There are thrills, mystery, and some romance. Cole Sprouse plays Jughead in the series, and I think he was the reason why Riverdale became so popular, but after people realized what a great show it is itself, they don’t watch just for Cole Sprouse alone. As the second season starts, the plot starts to thicken. I don’t want to uncover any events that happen, so I suggest that you watch at least the first season on Netflix if you haven’t already. Each episode gets uploaded onto the CW website for weekly episodes. I suggest Riverdale as your go to on Netflix. It is not scary, but it is an exciting thriller. Somehow, you will not only get pulled into the show, but also enjoy it.

Sofia Vela

What is my purpose? What am I doing here? These are the types of recurring questions that I faced at the start of high school.


Now, let’s rewind some years. I had always been a particularly independent child. At the age of four, I decided to let my personal stylist go, a.k.a. mom, by explaining bluntly that I did not need her to do my hair or pick out my outfits anymore, that I was perfectly capable of brushing and styling on my own. To help “lighten” my mom’s workload, I took it upon myself to lay out my big sister’s outfits, as well as make sure she was groomed and looking presentable for the day. By age nine, Mom quenched my thirst for independence by sending me off to the best summer camp there is. Summer at Santa Catalina became my home away from home. I felt safe, loved, and best of all free! Free from nagging parents, free from chores, and free to be whoever I wanted to be. One summer turned into two summers that, before I knew it, added up to five summers spent at Santa Catalina. During my last summer at camp, the summer going into freshman year, as Nikki and I paid our daily visit to Mrs. Reyes and her basket of chocolate, I noticed the collection of names on her cabinet, some familiar and others not. These were the names of the class of 2017 and this was the moment that planted the idea of attending Catalina in my head.


At the end of my eighth grade year I was ready to be unleashed! Anticipating the long road ahead of me, along with every twist and turn I would encounter as if I knew. Soon after this train of thought ran its course, the realization set in that, once again, I had gotten ahead of myself. Taking a few steps back–more like 50 steps back, actually–my parents and I began narrowing down which high schools would be the best fit for me. Attending high school at Catalina was a dream that I never once considered coming true, so it sat anxiously waiting to blossom in the back of my mind.


I spent my freshman and sophomore years at a school called Gross Catholic High School. I did well there and got involved. However, by sophomore year I felt that I needed a little something more. I had visited and toured Catalina freshman year, which solidified my desire to someday transfer and, on the other hand, further terrified my mom of having to let me go a few years sooner. Sophomore year I began dropping subtle hints to my mom, indicating to her that I was ready to move on to bigger and better things. By the end of the year, and way too many hints later, she fed into the idea and helped it grow until finally my dream became my reality. After many discussions, lots of decision making, and what seemed like endless paperwork, here I am, eternally grateful for the sacrifices my family has made in order for me to be here.


If it weren’t for my parents’ continuous support and undying faith in who I am and who I am becoming, I physically and mentally would not be where I am today. The opportunities and experiences presented to me through Catalina are beyond what I could have imagined they would be. I have grown so much in mind and spirit, thanks to Wednesday chapel services and Sunday masses. I have experienced what true friendship is and know what fake friends look like. I have matured through each struggle and stare confidently in the face of hard or seemingly scary tasks. I recognize that there is a chance that I may never again be in the midst of such incredible, intelligent teachers who actually care about me the way Catalina teachers do. What a gift. Every single teacher I have had has helped me grow in one way or another and most of them make me feel smarter just by being in their presence.  There is so much truth in the comments I hear about the Santa Catalina community being unlike any other I’ve ever experienced.
With all of this and more under my belt, I feel ready to tear into the next chapter of my life but have to admit that I will miss my home away from home. So, for those who are like me and can’t wait to know and experience what’s next, every now and then give yourself a second to stop, take a deep breath, and remember these wise words by Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” For those of you who can’t relate to that, here’s some advice that I know every Catalina girl could use: in times of stress, whip out that list of things you have to do or that assignment notebook I know each of you has and just take it one step at a time. I promise you, it will all get done.

Charlotte Wade

Bad things are going happen in life whether they are just little bumps in the road or sink holes. There is always a way out. God doesn’t throw anything at you that you can’t handle. He will guide you and help you through every hardship you encounter; you just have to be humble enough to listen and to follow what He says.


This has been the hardest part for me–listening. I usually have the answers and don’t need to listen to what anyone tells me. I don’t read directions, and I go through life like a bull in a china shop, eyes dead ahead and no looking back. This has served me well in my life. Moving around a lot, I always knew that if I looked back I would be sad. If I stopped I would be trampled. If didn’t act like I had the answers, I would be caught up in my own ignorance of the things around me. However, coming to Catalina, I have been able to slow down and not act as if I have all the answers. I have found out that I don’t have all the answers. It took me a really long time to realize that. It took a lot of wrong answers and a lot of patience to finally realize that being wrong is okay and that putting yourself out there even if you aren’t right or sure is okay, as long as you are gracious and humble whether you are wrong or right, and as long as you listen to those around you. I still move through life like a bull in a china shop, but now I know that to slow down isn’t to dumb down or be trampled by the pace of life. To slow down is to reflect and understand. Don’t get caught up in what everyone else thinks, because what is important is what you think, and what you feel. Being yourself, and knowing that you don’t know everything, gets you further than acting like you do know everything.  


I have matured into the person I am today because of the endless support of friends, family, and teachers. I have connections that I have never had before. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Catalina–for allowing me to fail, to succeed, to challenge myself, to be a leader, to be a follower, to be a scientist, to be a historian, to be a writer, a musician, a philosopher, and an artist. Also thank you for letting me be a friend and a sister to these amazing people who have changed me for the better. I hope I never forget what Catalina has allowed me to become.


Hashini Weerasekera

I still remember the day of my eighth grade graduation, how after the ceremony, I looked at my parents and said, “I can’t believe my next graduation will be high school, but that’s not going to happen for a long time.” Lo and behold, here we are, four years later, and I have exactly one month left until I go off into a new journey. Being asked to write this senior reflection was probably harder for me than the research paper we had to write sophomore year in Mr. Oder’s class. I tried to think, “What am I going to miss the most about Catalina?” and here’s what I came up with:


I’m going to miss eating warm chocolate chip cookies surrounded by my friends in the dining hall while sharing laughs and stories. I’m going to miss watching the fog roll over the hills as Dr. Kapolka sings away on his guitar every Friday. I’m going to miss sitting outside in the sunny courtyard surrounded by friends, wearing sunglasses, listening to music, and doing math homework. I’m going to miss the bright red flowers dotted around campus, and the water bubbling over the fountain. I’m going to miss playing tennis as the sun sets, and the bustle of the theater as students and teachers alike prepare for opening night. I’m going to miss packing admissions decisions in the red parlor, and sharing snacks and life advice in Sullivan Court. I’m going to miss how quiet and peaceful the library is every Thursday during the flex period and going on marine field trips to end the day every Friday. But as I rattled on about little things that I was going to miss, I realized there was one thing in common with everything I had thought about: the people. To me, if there is one thing that I prize the most at Santa Catalina, it’s my friends, classmates, teachers, and faculty. Thank you to my friends who love me almost as much as I love you. Thank you to the teachers who believed in me and cast me to dance in a show even though I was convinced I have two left feet. Thank you to all 64 of my classmates that have become more like 64 sisters, and thank you for the infinite amount of love and support they have given me. Thank you for breaking me out of my comfort zone and making me try new things, and for making me more socially-minded and optimistic about the future. Thank you for making me laugh until I cried or dancing away to smash hits from 2008 ’til the wee hours. For all the smiles, tears, sleepovers, movie marathons, study sessions, birthday dinners, shopping sprees, coffee dates and so much more, I will forever be grateful. Thank you to the teachers who have inspired me and made me fall in love with learning. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself and for supporting me when I needed it the most. Thank you to such a dynamic student body for making the seniors truly feel like the queens of the school. Thank you to my friends for sticking by my side and loving and cherishing me for exactly who I am, and for making me learn to have confidence in myself–something I have always been looking for–and for the amazing advice they’ve given me regarding some of the most important decisions I have made in my life. For sharing every moment of their life with me, whether it be the happiest or the saddest, the funniest or the most embarrasing, I always end up realizing a little bit more exactly why I love them so much. From the jam sessions in study hall, to lining up to paint our faces for Spirit Day, to screaming our senior chants at the top of our lungs, to the jokes during morning announcements, all the way to having chariot races through the halls for Ring Week, thank you for making me so happy. I don’t know how they do it, but somehow, some way, only the kindest, most selfless, most amazing people end up at Catalina. None of this would be the same, or mean as much as it does to me without the people I call my bestfriends, my classmates, my sisters.


So, if there’s one piece of advice I can give to you, before the rest of you have to give your own senior reflections, it would be to appreciate the little things at Catalina. Remember the bright cherry blossoms and the birds singing in the afternoon, or how beautiful Study Hall sparkles the night before KK’s. Participate in EVERYTHING, and have no regrets throughout your four years. Because sooner or later you’ll be trading in your worn out coffee-brown Converses for a pair of white shoes, your kilt stained with spaghetti sauce and acrylic paint for a white gown, and your mechanical pencils and ballpoint pens for a bouquet of red roses. After that, Catalina will just be another part of you. So before I do that, I just want to say: Thank you, Catalina. Thank you for the smiles, the joy, the knowledge, the opportunities, my friends, my classmates, my teachers, the sunshine, the comfort, the confidence, the second home, the memories, and the barbecue sliders. Thank you for everything. You’ve made me exactly who I am today, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Ivy Armijo

How do you start one of the last papers you will write as a highschooler, let alone a paper about the last four years of your life? I still remember sitting in the freshman pews in the chapel during the first mass and sitting in row one, desk four in study hall, glancing over at where the seniors sat, wondering how different things will be in four years, when I would be a senior. One of the earliest memories I have about the thought of graduating from Catalina was when I was at summer camp here. I believe I was about 13 years old, so I still was not sure where I was going to high school, but a few friends and I found an open door into study hall during one of our breaks. I ran up onto the stage and I turned to my friends saying, “One day I will be standing up here in my graduation gown, ready to graduate high school.” That day is fast approaching.


I have experienced some of the lowest and highest points in my life while attending Catalina. While I may still be trying to find the good in a lot of things that have happened to me recently, Catalina has helped me grow as a person. I have learned so much about myself over these past four years. I have learned that everything happens for reason, even if you find that reason a year later. I have learned that no matter what, you can really only count on yourself do get things done, but there will always be the same few people cheering you on in the crowd. I met some of my best friends at Catalina summer camp and even more in the MERP program. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities like MERP that Catalina has given me. I feel ready and confident for any science labs that I will be placed in at college, and I am ready to be able to look in all the right places in order to help accomplish my future goals. I am also grateful that I am able to paddle board and play in the Monterey Bay.


I do wish that someone would have told me how difficult the college decision process was. I knew that you may not get exactly what you want or planned for, but nobody told me how often it happens and the fact that you may be completely at a crossroads for what to do, whether it’s because you didn’t get into any of your top schools or you just didn’t get that financial aid you were hoping for. If you got what you wished for, you are very lucky, and I am also very happy and excited for you. As I am trying to think of some original advice to give to the underclassmen, I am realizing that there’s no way you can really prep or brace yourself for the next four or so years. There’s going to be a whole lot of highs, but at times, you will also find yourself on a bumpy road with some real lows. The good news is that, once you get to the end of that road, you will be ready to take on a whole ’nother set of bumps and turns, with the help of your family, friends, and the education and experiences you’ve had at Catalina.

Jane Shim

As April comes to an end, I realize that my four years of high school are wrapping up. In between preparing for AP exams, online shopping for my future dorm room, and battling senioritis, I find myself thinking about the things I’ve done and the things I haven’t done in high school.


When I look back on my four years, what I recall most are my friends, teachers, classes, Catalina milestones such as Ring Week and senior prom, and investing my time into my academics and extracurriculars. I’ve laughed and cried the hardest in these four years. I’ve tried new things and followed old passions, and I’ve picked things up and left things behind. And although I have no regrets, sometimes I wonder what things would’ve been like if I had done them differently. That AP Statistics course I didn’t take—what if I’d taken it? That track manager position that I decided to take on last-minute—what if I’d never taken it? What would’ve changed if I’d done or not done these things?


Yet, the things done and not done have collectively brought me to where I am today – anxious to graduate high school and start attending my dream school. The worries of things I could’ve done are no more, and instead my thoughts turn towards the things I will do and the places I will go. My next stop is college, and needless to say, nowadays it’s all I think about.


Years ago, I wanted to attend a large college in a major, bustling city such as New York or Boston. However, half a year ago, I set foot on the campus of Williams College, and my perspective completely changed. As I walked through Williams, I realized that although the scenery was unfamiliar, the school felt like a second home. I wondered why this was, and it hit me—the community was so close-knit and welcoming that even though I didn’t know the people in it, the atmosphere was so similar to the one here at Catalina that I instantly felt at home. I wished with all my heart that this college would be my new home, where I would be surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains while I grew in my liberal arts education. My wish came true, and I feel at peace because I know it’s home, just like Catalina has been my home for the past four years.


I want to end my reflection with this: Never take your education for granted. Yes, have fun, explore the world, follow your passions, and involve yourself in many, many things—just don’t forget to learn some valuable life lessons along the way. Although you might think at times that high school is never-ending, as you celebrate each passing year, just know that the end of your time here at Catalina isn’t all that far away. In fact, you’ll find that soon enough, you’ll be presenting your senior reflection, too. So in between times of studying for AP exams, online shopping for your future dorm room, and perhaps not-so-successfully battling senioritis, just remember not to worry about the things you haven’t done. It’s the things you will do from now on that count.

Ella Martinetto

Seven Things I’m Mad About and One Thing I’m Not


  1. When I was a freshman I thought I was smart. I didn’t join any clubs and then was so very pleased with myself because I had all this free time to hang out and watch Netflix, but I should have joined things and met people and done stuff. And maybe my freshman year would have been busier and more stressful, but the experience itself would have been so much richer.
  2. I didn’t start theater tech until I was a sophomore, and I’m angry about that because I love tech. I love being at tech. I love the people I met at tech, and I love the person I became at tech. Tech taught me how to be confident in my decisions, how to be responsible, how to think on my feet, and I should have done more of it while I had the chance
  3. One time I forgot to charge my iPad, and it died in the middle of class the next day, and then I had to take notes by hand.
  4. When I leave Catalina I’m going to forget things, and I don’t want to. I don’t even want to forget the things I don’t like. I don’t want to forget that sometimes when I walk by the dining hall it smells like roast chicken, even though we aren’t having chicken at all that day. I don’t want to forget the fear that strikes your heart when you get back from winter break and realize that bird diving season has started, and the birds outside the chapel will not rest until they have attacked you at least twice. I don’t want to forget the things I don’t like here because it means that I’ll forget good things, too. I don’t want to forget my teachers and my friends and how funny they are, and how passionate they are, and how eager they are to share that passion with the world and with me.
  5. They always run out of guacamole on taco day. You know? You get all excited because you’re getting to the front of the line, and you can see the bowl up ahead of you, and then you get there and it’s empty. They don’t even take the bowl away; they just leave it there to taunt you.
  6. I’m angry because even after the slam poem about the water pressure in the C2 building’s bathroom faucets being too high, they tried to fix the problem and now the water pressure is too low. I feel like I’m being gently cried on by a sink every time I wash my hands and it makes me uncomfortable.
  7. I’m angry because every time I think about graduating the last piece of advice my ring sister gave me before she graduated goes running through my head and all I can hear is: “Your senior year goes fast, Ella. Don’t rush it. Cherish it,” and it’s been a real damper on my senioritis.

The thing I’m not mad about: I took her advice. I listened when she told me to take my time this year. I focused on my friends because I know we’ll never all be together like this again. I thought about the things I’ve learned and the person I’ve become since I started high school. I listen when people here talk to me, because I know I won’t be able to listen to them the same the way again after May 27th. I paid attention to things I did not want to forget, even the things I don’t like. And when I think about all these things and the reason I paid attention to them, I don’t feel angry anymore. I feel thankful.

Annarose Hunt

I am not a patient person. I do not like being helped. I am headstrong, stubborn, and cynical. Some might call me bossy. These are the things I knew about myself four years ago, when I was graduating eighth grade and coming here.


I still know these things to be true. I am still the same independent and willful young woman. High school has not been easy for me. I’ve always struggled with maintaining friendships, with passing my APs, with math classes and time management and scheduling meetings and getting enough sleep.


My classmates and I spent a journey period last month asking Dr. Murphy to describe us. He told Faith Tell she was one of the most joy-filled people he knows, and then he looked at me and said, “You know, Annarose, I can’t say that about you.”


There’s a beat.

“But you know that.”


He’s right. I do know that. I know how I’ve wandered these halls with a cloud over my head, contemplating the big things I’d do if I weren’t young and stuck in a young person’s little life. I know how I’ve planned every year, planned something that will redeem me for all the difficulty I’ve faced, forcing myself into friendships, forcing myself into groups where we all knew I’d never belong. I know how my family has struggled here, our best and our worst moments never hidden from my classmates, even our meals together on view to the whole school. I know how I’ve looked in mirrors and promised myself that today will be different, that I can do it.


I’ve always pulled through. I’ve never been perfect, but I’ve never failed myself either.


I can make no promises of what your time here will hold. You will laugh. You will cry. You will feel so tired that leaving your desk for the next class feels much more dramatic than just standing up. Say yes to opportunities if you’re interested. Don’t feel that you have to be interested. I have been on more wait lists than I can count, and what happens in the interim tends to be most important. During your senior year, always say yes to your loved ones. Go to Target with your mom. Get pizza with the friends who’ve become your family. Never miss an opportunity to tell them they’re loved. Never shut them down when they say the same to you. Eat chocolate and ice cream and pasta and sushi and tacos and poke and curry. Shower and sleep and work out and hug your little brother and remember everything is temporary. The good and the bad, it will all fade in time. So don’t worry too much. Just breathe it in.

Nicolle Hoonsbeen

Senior year is freeing. You spend all of your time as an underclassman wishing and waiting until the day you become “that” senior. And then you are “that” senior. Being “that” senior entails a lot more than what it seems to on the surface. Being “that” senior means you are about to go through the most emotionally and spiritually challenging year of your young life. For me, I felt like I spent so much of my time wanting to be a senior that I forgot to live in the present moment. Senior year is bittersweet. Although I do not regret anything because I believe everything happens for a reason, if I could go back and change anything to help impact my life positively, it would be my attitude. My freshman year I was so caught up on the outer part of who people were that I discredited people quickly and became a person who was consumed by labels and stereotypes. My freshman and sophomore year I tried so hard to be a label that I got lost in all of it. Reflecting back on the days I would be driven home by my parents seems like a thing of the past. I remember playing lacrosse as a freshman and looking up at the seniors thinking, “They are only, like, three years older than me. They can’t know that much more than I already do now,” but I was so wrong. Junior year is when you really begin to figure yourself out.

Junior year is full of firsts. Your first car drive alone, your first prom, your first Ring Week, your first fight with your best friend, your first anxiety attack, your first heartbreak, but those are all a part of your growth and those all make you the person you are today. During my junior year I figured a lot out about who I was as a person, what I valued in relationships, what I didn’t value, and most importantly I began to actually love myself. And I do not mean the artificial “self love” I mean the real self love, the kind of self love that can be painful and hard to find. High school is an emotional rollercoaster, as is life. You are going to have some super-high moments, and you are going to experience some very low moments, but no matter what moment you are on, you must always remember to love yourself. There are going to be days where you contemplate your entire being (especially after Dr. Murphy’s philosophy class), you are going to imagine your life as if you didn’t attend Catalina, you are going to cry harder than ever before because life is relentless at times. But (and this is something I didn’t realize until this year) no matter how awful you think your situation is, Catalina will be there for you. There will be somebody or something on this campus that will give you a glimpse of hope and you’re going to realize that sometimes that is all you need. I did not appreciate the things Catalina taught me fully until this year. As an underclassman, I thought so little of myself and others and always sought the worst in people. But after some relationships ended, and some began to blossom, I realized that in order to live a truly happy life, I must love myself and surround myself with people who are only going to help me grow. This brings me to the friendship part of high school. I am at a serious loss for words when it comes to the friendships I have gained here. No words or things could even begin to explain the amount of warmth and love I have in my heart for all of you. Those “high” moments I mentioned earlier are all credited to the relationships I have found over these past years, and I would not take back any of them for the world.

Senior year is full of lasts. Your last prom, your last study hall jam session, your last time being asked to take off your sweatshirt, your last KKs, your last fire drill, your last assembly. Everything you are so used to doing is being done for the last time, and you never really think it was supposed to end, until it does. My time at Catalina was not perfect. I failed, I cried, I laughed, I sang, I grew, but most importantly, I learned. I learned what it is like to be a better person, a better friend, a better sister, and overall, a better me.