Lovestruck: The Falcon plays matchmaker February 12, 2023 — by Sarah Thomas and Ariel Zhou Photo by Ariel ZhouBlom and Timmons pose at an ice rink in Palo Alto. After extensive research on compatibility, the Falcon paired four couples to go on dates and test their chemistry. In honor of the nation’s “holiday of love,” The Falcon set up four potential couples to go on dates recently. Though Valentine’s Day is dedicated to romantic love, the four pairs came out of this experience with a new friendship. Though each pairing may seem completely random, there was actually a lot of thought put in to make sure the two students would be compatible. We paired Shane Timmons, the SHS varsity quarterback, with Elsa Blom, a talented runner, since they both share a love of fitness and many of the same interests. Paul Hulme and Ela Machiroutu are both part of Toga’s leadership, and Machiroutu is close friends with Hulme’s older brother, Jonny Hulme. Tevita Pahulu is also a part of SHS’s varsity football team, and Dahlia Murthy plays for the water polo team; the two’s shared interest in sports and compatible personalities led to their pairing. Lastly, Nathan Lim’s introverted nature and Charlotte Debecker’s welcoming energy complemented each other entirely, making a perfect pairing. Match No. 1: The cold never bothered Shane Timmons and Elsa Blom anyway Though it was cold on the ice, it was never cold between junior Shane Timmons and senior Elsa Blom when they went on a date on Friday night. The pair went to an ice rink in Palo Alto, where they enjoyed their Friday evening ice skating. “It was all very homey and cute,” Blom said. The pair hadn’t hung out together outside of school before, so this date was their first time. The two had no awkward moments though, as their time was filled with conversations about school, future plans, family and their interests. “People should definitely make plans with people they haven’t hung out with before and just give it a try,” she said. Though the two are both too embarrassed to disclose who fell the most on the ice, it is safe to say that both were complete beginners. The couple went to In and Out, where they enjoyed dinner. “The whole experience was really fun, and I’d probably do it again,” Timmons said. Match No. 2: A brush with true love It’s been said that art brings people together, and it’s no different when matchmaking is involved. Art’s capacity to inspire reflection and form connections that transcend differences brought together junior Paul Hulme and senior Ela Machiroutu. The pair spent Saturday evening together at Los Gatos’s Petroglyph, where they painted pottery and got to know each other better. Machiroutu previously knew Hulme through her friendship with his older brother, Johnny. Although Machiroutu didn’t previously consider her and Hulme close friends, she felt that the date gave them an opportunity to get to know each other better. “Painting gave us an opportunity to talk a lot,” Machiroutu said. Although the date started off slightly awkward, Machiroutu was grateful that Paul’s easygoing nature made conversation easy. Hulme appreciated their shared experiences as part of the Leadership class. For Hulme, the most shocking part of their date was learning she couldn’t yet drive, but both of them agreed that they would definitely hang out again. Match No. 3: Dahlia Murthy and Tevita Pahulu strike a connection A common classic for first dates is bowling, which is exactly what sophomores Dahlia Murthy and Tevita Pahulu spent their Sunday night doing. The pair played four rounds at Bowlmor lanes in Cupertino. In between strikes, spares and gutter balls, they deepened their friendship. “I’ve never talked to him outside of school, so it was nice to see him from a different perspective,” Murthy said. The two are both relatively shy people, and they were both nervous about going on the arranged date. Though it started off a bit tense, the pair agreed that they warmed up to each other as they began to play. “We had a lot of fun bowling and just talking,” Pahulu said. After their games, the pair played some games in the arcade to conclude their night. Match No. 4: Heart rates accelerate for Charlotte Debecker and Nathan Lim With butterflies in their stomachs, seniors Charlotte Debecker and Nathan Lim went to K1 speed to enjoy an evening of go-karting and arcade games. “I was really nervous going into the date since I thought we wouldn’t have anything to talk about,” Lim said. However, the pair’s fear of awkwardness instead became an evening full of laughter and fun. “Unlike what I expected, there wasn’t a moment of silence or awkwardness between us,” Debecker said. Not only did their date result in hours of fun for the two, but it also led to realizations for them. Lim was initially intimidated by Debecker’s seemingly introverted demeanor at school. “She usually has headphones in and seems really quiet,” Lim said, though the way she acted during the date changed his mind. “Her outgoing personality and welcoming energy made this date all the more enjoyable.” While it was too short for a true love connection, the date sparked a deeper friendship between the two. “I had a really good time, and I’m glad that I have a new person in my class to call a friend,” Debecker said.