Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

High Gear Editor: Paul Watermulder


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The proverbial “Baker’s Dozen” Rotarians turned out for a memorable lunchtime visit to Burlingame High School (BHS) last Wednesday.  We were hosted by the Italian Exchange Club of the school—its teachers & staff, students and parents.

It was a different kind of meeting, for sure.  As I cruised into the school to track down a parking place, I maneuvered between the Rolls Royces, Maserati (when you get up to this level, the singular and plural are the same thing!), occasional Jaguars and a Bentley or two, trying to find a place to park my run of the mill, everybody’s-car-looks-identical-to-yours junior size SUV.  I guess I must have (maybe) slipped out of the student parking area into some other section of the campus, but the car I parked next to had in big letters on the back window, “Abortion Is Healthcare,” and on the side windows, “Get a vasectomy.”  Clearly this wasn’t going to be your grandpa’s Rotary Club meeting.

Tables were set for 100, and the Parent Sponsor assured me all the seats would be full.  And she did not disappoint.  The thirteen of us were treated to early access to the full buffet of Mexican food just before the faculty and parents, who were followed by the 85 students who had clearance for this luncheon. 

The teenagers clearly were on their best behavior, a remarkable feat since some 40 of them had just arrived on Monday from Italy to spend 8 days in the Bay Area, partnered with student hosts at BHS.  These kids were all from Carpi (have any of you visited there?)  43 of the other students at the luncheon were BHS students who are intent on going as a group to visit Italy (and Carpi) for two weeks next spring.  This is the first time in the history of the Exchange Program at BHS that they have pulled off both hosting a group and sending a group to a far away country in the same year.  The program had begun with 17 students in its first year, so this handling of the two groups making up over 80 students was quite something.

The welcome program started up with honors going to Marc Friedman and Matteo Rizzo (former ADG of our Rotary district 5150), who did a lot of behind the scenes work to get the loose ends from visa approvals to missing luggage locating, and on, which helped this unusual and happy visit come together.

Dr. Jennifer Fong, the young and energetic Principal of BHS, gave words of welcome, and both the staff and the parents of the kids were thanked for helping the Exchange Program proceed so incredibly this year.

Our member Paul (full disclosure: that’s me) had been assigned to give the invocation for this meeting.   The date had appeared as any other Wednesday on the calendar originally, but upon arrival it was clear this was no regular meeting (hey—zero, as in “zero” announcements—wow!), and it was clear that the 90 non-Rotarians in the room weren’t going to sit still for a whole lot.  So, our “invocation” moved right along.  It was titled:

Character Counts” especially in this election-infused season when there has been a plethora of candidates who lied and another whole group who also were mean.  We talked about being and becoming people of character, who put service above self.  We talked about Rotary being a community group who sought to be people of character to each other and to the wider community.

Each attendee had a copy of The Four Way Test at their place, and all read out loud in unison the four questions of The Four Way Test (pause before you see the answers—do you know these by heart?!  Neither did I.  But here they are, for your memorization assignment this week:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

This was about all I have to report—we hope the Four Way Test and the thoughts on Character took root in some of the minds and hearts present:  Italian and American, faculty, parent and student.

Weekly Quiz:  Here are the 13 Burlingame Rotarians I counted at this event.  Can you identify the one familiar face to us who is not actually (yet) a Rotarian?!
Jim Shypertt, Jerry Winges, Marilyn Orr, Mike Heffernan, Jay Miller, Emily Matthews, Phil Siegle, Doug Person, Bill Tiedeman, Mark Johnson, Sophie Matthews, Alex Buljan, Linna Golodriga, Paul Watermulder.

Class dismissed.  Have a great week—we meet next Wednesday at 12:15 at the Burlingame Community Center.  Where our French inspired chefs Sarah and Jacob Moratta will be back with us.  And at least in theory, President Fritz will actually return in person to display his Hawaiian suntan and tell us his stories of Blue Hawaii, Hawaii 5-0, and the rest of the wonderful ethos of the islands where everybody is family, and all is well!

Like I said, class is now dismissed.

Nov 30, 2022 12:15 PM
American Medicine is Sick: What would Hippocrates Do?
American Medicine is Sick: What would Hippocrates Do?

Dr. Lorne Rosenfield is a board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Burlingame, California, since 1987. Dr. Rosenfield’s “Pinch” Blepharoplasty and facelift techniques have been universally adopted by his colleagues. He also has written original work on the subject of safety, and his Perioperative Surgical Checklist has become the standard for both the American Society of Aesthetic Surgery and within the European Union.

He is presently working on a book, What Would Hippocrates Do?, which will explore the philosophical origins of medicine and how these same tenets could better inform our delivery of health care today.

View entire list
Member Birthdays
Bill Tiedeman
November 14
Scott Campbell
November 14
David Mendell
November 15
Mark Lucchesi
November 16
Doug Person
November 22
Lage Andersen
November 22
Fritz Brauner
Sue Brauner
November 13