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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Senior Mag 2024: 2 seniors reflect on what made their MAP experience memorable

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Current MAP seniors at Universal Studios on the MAP LA trip in junior year

The Media Arts Program is a path of study that almost all Saratoga High students have the opportunity to pursue, but typically only a few dozen overcome scheduling challenges and remain in the program for all four years of high school. Throughout this journey, MAP seniors gain various media skills and create countless memories with their peers through group projects and field trips. This year MAP had 52 graduates. Here are two of their stories. 

Araceli Lublinerman: MAPster by accident

Araceli initially joined MAP to try something new, but she wasn’t planning to continue it after freshman year. However, she decided to stay and ultimately gained media skills she will take into her future as an animation major at Loyola Marymount University. 

She had previously done a couple of test animation projects as a middle schooler, but her skills were limited to frame-by-frame animation. In MAP, she learned new animation techniques such as “tweening,” becoming skilled in programs like Adobe Animate and Premiere Pro. 

“MAP is really great for anything film-related, and it definitely helped me develop my creative side,” Araceli said. “A lot of my ideas and the way I compose my pieces is in part because of MAP.” 

Among all the film projects she has produced in MAP, Araceli’s favorite was the American Story Project in MAP 11, where students had the freedom to create a film centered around any time or event in American history with group members of their choice. 

Araceli and her group members’ project was a murder mystery set in the 1920s about a detective investigating the murders of several actresses. In their film, the culprit turns out to be another actress, who tried to frame suspects involved with the victims. 

“It was the first creative project that was truly our own, and I loved getting to create a film that I really liked with a bunch of people that were also excited about it,” Lublinerman said. 

She said that for her, MAP also felt like a tight-knit community; many of her current friends are also in the program or connected to it in some way. Additionally, MAP taught her to work with people in a group, as she thinks group work wasn’t a strength for her in middle school. 

Araceli also emphasized that the connections that form through this program can be useful after high school, as many MAP seniors are studying something film-related and are considering pursuing careers in the film industry or related fields. 

In addition to bonding with her peers and the future networking possibilities, Araceli expressed gratitude to the teachers in MAP who have inspired her at every turn. 

“In sophomore year we had Mr. Hemmerich, who made me feel so enthusiastic about everything I did,” Araceli said. “Now we have Ms. Villela, who’s an amazing artist who has worked on so many projects and has so many industry connections. It’s a great community to be a part of.” 

Ethan Canahuati: The teachers make the difference

As a freshman, Ethan was initially intrigued by the unique academic style MAP offers, with three classes (Media Arts, English, and History) from sophomore year onwards that are frequently tied together by incorporating history and literature into media projects. 

“I heard that MAP was more focused on group learning and media projects and it was a more creative way of looking at education, and I thought that would benefit my mindset more than regular classes would,” Ethan said. 

He ultimately chose to remain in the program because of the knowledgeable, supportive teachers and the creativity that comes with the program. 

“Mr. Davey really changed my perspective on the education system and learning itself and sparked my love for learning history through his teaching style,” Ethan said. 

He will be studying political science at Oregon University and is looking forward to using MAP skills like filming and editing as part of the media team there, which covers the university’s sports teams. 

Ethan feels that MAP has helped him strengthen his skills in the Adobe suite, and like Araceli, he particularly enjoyed the American Story Project. His group created a historical fictional film about the creation of Pixar. 

“The American story project cultivated all of our three years of learning up until then,” Ethan explained. “It was really fun because we incorporated a lot of animation and cool filming techniques into our film.” 

Ethan also built strong connections with his peers through MAP, whether it was through rooming with his friends on the MAP 11 LA trip, bonding with his group members better through the MAP 12 Amazing Race field trip in San Francisco or forming new connections through the MAP 12 Capstone Project. 

“Filming Capstone, our group spent a lot of time together this year…almost too much!” Ethan said. “I’ve really grown to enjoy their company, and as our project has now wrapped up, I’m really thankful for the time we spent together and the effort we all put into the project.”

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