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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Rosetta Lee teaches the Webb community to initiate courageous conversations

Rosetta+Lee+speaks+to+students+in+Les+Perry+Gymnasium.
Stephen Li
Rosetta Lee speaks to students in Les Perry Gymnasium.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a difficult pattern of not wanting to offend the people we talk to, while still wanting to remain honest and kind. Learning about how to properly convey one’s ideas helps ensure that the people within the conversation can understand the content without taking offense. To help the students, families, and faculty of Webb better develop this skill, speaker Rosetta Lee visited the campus on January 7th and 8th to share what she has learned as a diversity speaker, teacher, and counselor. 

On the first day back from winter break, students adopted a modified schedule to accommodate Rosetta Lee’s presentation on courageous conversations. Administrators modified the schedule to allow for the two-hour assembly, pushing B block to after lunch and shortening all three blocks to an hour. Administrators also canceled WSC chapel and VWS advisory.

In the assembly, students were split into 40 different groups, each with 10 to 11 students and a faculty member. They were given 10 minutes to discuss questions such as, “What are some personal or professional environment challenges for authentic dialogue?” and “How can you use the be ‘A DEAR’ tool to initiate conversations in our professional and personal life?” 

“When we started making our diversity and inclusion statement, we had a lot of discussions about the training that our community needed to embrace challenging conversations,” said Dr. Theresa Smith, Assistant Head of Schools. “We started looking for an expert and quickly found that Rosetta Lee was the best person. She speaks about how everyone has a role to play in thinking about the privileges they have, the responsibilities they have, the ways that they are marginalized, and leaning into the necessary conversations.”

“Last year, we had an assessment of inclusivity and multiculturalism and a full survey with the community the creation of diversity and inclusion community, and that group has the data with the survey and the administration team and what kind of work we need to do next,” said Dr. Smith.

Ms. Lee spoke to faculty about culturally competent communication and building inclusive classroom practices on January 7th, the day that students arrived for the second semester. She spoke to Webb parents that evening about cross-cultural communication. 

“The session for parents was informative and focused on the key ideas, theories, and definitions important to understand cross-cultural communication,” said Karl Haushalter, parent of Laura Haushalter (‘21) [Note: Laura is the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s Editor of Sports]. “Personally, I was especially intrigued to learn about the ways that our cultures help to shape both our communication styles and our expectations of others. Above all, I left with a sense of being patient with others and not jumping to assumptions based on my particular cultural frame of reference.”

“I was educated by being highly attentive of what I say to others,” said Claire Diepenbrock (‘21). “While some statements would not particularly offend me, it might be impolite or inappropriate to others. Knowing this, I hope that as a community, we can start to incorporate these daily actions by being kind and respectful, as responsibilities.”

After the speech, Rosetta Lee left the floor open for student questions. Chris Haliburton (‘20) and Chris Conte (‘20) took the mic and proposed new insights and discussions on student privilege. 

“The assembly had an important purpose and was a very strong indication of how the school values inclusion and open communication,” said Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life. “The school carved out one hour at the beginning of the semester to teach students to interact in a respective, courageous and positive manner. For me, I don’t know if this is exactly what she intended, but during her speech, I sometimes disengaged and drifted to my own stories. Taking away from this experience, I began to replay scenarios and thought about how I could have handled them differently and more effectively.”

This assembly is an important step in making Webb a safe environment for the flow of ideas and opinions, so everyone can feel safe to challenge others ideas and make a difference. These ideas can even be used outside of Webb in everyday life, as participants will try to think before they speak and act responsibly to make decisions without regret. 

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About the Contributors
Kaitlyn De Armas, Editor-in-Chief
Kaitlyn De Armas ('21), an original and strong-willed creator, is an Aquarius who perfectly fits her sign's description. She is an avid One Direction fan, her favorite album being Midnight Memories, but she thinks all of their songs are amazing. A humanities enthusiast, her favorite class this year is Advanced Studies Creative Nonfiction. Kaitlyn loves running and hanging out with her friends in her free time. She is really into making playlists and loves listening to them in the car with her friends. Besides running, Kaitlyn plays both soccer and softball. When the weekend rolls around, Kaitlyn can be seen relaxing with friends, as well as sleeping in. This year, she would like to use her position as Editor-in-Chief to introduce new projects. She is looking forward to bringing in and build upon new media formats like quizzes, videos, podcasts, galleries, and playlists. She also really wants to bring about more viewership and make a positive difference on the Webb Community.
Laura Haushalter, Public Editor
Enthusiastic, positive, determined, and athletic, Laura Haushalter (‘21) uses her passionate attitude to take on many leadership roles: captain of the VWS cross-country and swimming teams; Student Government spirit commissioner; and the Public Editor for the WCC. As the Public Editor, Laura oversees all the social media accounts for the WCC. In addition to normal Editor-in-Chief  responsibilities, she helps the WCC gain more publicity, making sure Webbies stay informed and updated about the latest articles. Laura is extremely passionate about environmental justice and climate change, which is why her favorite class she has taken at Webb is Honors Global Society and Sustainability. In her free time, you can catch Laura watching Friends or Veep, listening to AJR, Beach House, and Cardi B, or running on Thompson Creek Trail. Her goals this year are to make the WCC’s social media accounts more active, and make the most of her last year at Webb.
Stephen Li, Chief Editor of Media
Stephen Li (‘21) is the Chief Editor of Media this year for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. He only started photography recreationally four years ago, but this skill has helped him contribute to the WCC through improving the quality of photos, an important yet often overlooked aspect of any publication. As the captain of the varsity football team, it’s no surprise that Stephens favorite spot on campus is the football field. Because of this passion, one of his many goals is to continue playing football in college, as he wants to increase Asian representation in American sports. This year, Stephen wants to increase the impact the Webb Canyon Chronicle has on the community through gaining more readers, and, as a peer advisor, he wants to continue bringing people together especially in the midst of a pandemic. Stephen’s proven talent for rallying the morale of his teammates and peers is a skill that makes him an irreplaceable member of the WCC team. 
Keigan McCullagh, Editor of News
After using her summer to create a small business selling custom embroidery, Keigan McCullagh (‘21) is coming back to school as a senior. Keigan has been with the Webb Canyon Chronicle for two years, improving and learning throughout her time. She fondly remembers getting her first article publisheand reflects on her growth as a writer, and she is now the Editor of News for the WCC this year. She is also the Co-President of Webb’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Club and Vice President of our USITT chapter. Her astrological sign is Libra. She loves to learn about history. You can always find her playing the guitar or listening to music, her favorite bands being Fleetwood Mac and the Lumineers. Besides music, she loves her dog Lily. Also, Keigan’s favorite food is chicken nuggets. Keigan’s goal for the WCC this year is to report more breaking news in hope of shedding light on important subjects the Webb community should know about.  She would also like to encourage everyone to go vote for the 2020 election! 
Kara Sun, Co-Editor of Media
Kara Sun (’20) is an all-out foodie. Like any typical SoCal girl, her favorite food is In-N-Out. Deciding to explore her passion of discovering new food, she traveled beyond California and enjoyed tacos in Mexico and oyakodon in Japan in summer 2019. A characteristic that defines Kara is her dual-personality—she describes herself as both an introvert and an extrovert, just like a cat that is secretly a wannabe dog. As a dorm prefect, Kara enjoys socializing and helping people, but she also values her alone time in which she usually watches Netflix or listens to Billie Eilish. Human behavior intrigues Kara and she wishes to pursue this passion in college, so it is no surprise that Kara's favorite course at Webb is Literature and Psychology. Kara is also nostalgic: she loves the old Spider-Man because it brings up childhood memories, and she recommends you watch it too.
Sydney Wuu, Editor-in-Chief
Imagine being Editor-in-Chief for the Webb Canyon Chronicle, VWS all-school president, co-captain of the varsity tennis and water polo teams, and a big-time koala lover! Sydney Wuu (‘20), a senior boarding student from Pasadena, California, is all of these descriptions at once. You can catch Sydney listening to Khalid, watching Disney movies, or hanging out with her friends eating green tea mochi. Born on July 1st, Sydney portrays many of the characteristics of a Cancer: creative, loyal, and adventurous. Sydney employs these skills in her favorite humanities classes such as Advanced Studies Human Migration or Advanced Studies Cold War Era. Her goal this year is to broaden the horizons of the WCC with different forms of media, such as YouTube, Spotify playlists, and infographics.
Vivien Xi, Chief Copy Editor
Vivien Xi (‘21) is a positive and energetic soul from Shanghai, China. This year, she has taken on the role of Chief Copy Editor for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. She is perfect for the position because she is motivated, responsible, organized, and loves helping others. Over the summer, she interned at multiple financial firms and worked at a restaurant. Vivien’s spirit animal is a bee, because they are always working diligently and socializing with others. Vivien's busy bee work ethic will serve her well working on the WCC team and in her near future, especially since she wants to study economics and media. She enjoys playing tennis, eating sushi, and hanging out with friends and family. She wishes to make a positive impact in life, big or small. Vivien has gained a confident voice from working with the Webb Canyon Chronicle. This year, she plans to use her voice and platform on the WCC to speak out about healthcare systems around the world and how COVID-19 has impacted those systems.   

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