Volume 38, Number 5
Dana Hills High School VOLUME 38, NUMBER 5 NEWS Administration Becomes Less Stringent With Tardy Sweeps 20 PAGES FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 Pep Rally Energizes Students and Staff for Winter Sports Season DANA, HOW DO YOU FEEL? < Led by enthusiastic seniors at the second showing of the rally, freshmen and sophomores sway their arms in support of ping-pong finalists Winterbottom and Vander Hayden. Spreading spirit all throughout the gym, Dana cheerleaders perfect a towering pyramid formation that impressed students, teachers, and administrators. < INSIDE TODAY THE PAPER DHHSPAPER.COM ASU President Jeremy Lin voices frustration with the strict tardy policy at an adminstration meeting, ultimately causing the change. Read the latest, 5 CENTERSPREAD < Pumping up the crowd, Phineas the Hey Dana, Did You Know? Dolphin shows off his best dance moves while defeating his opponent, Dolly the Dolphin, in an entertaining basketball game. Facing off in the final of the pingpong tournament, junior defending champion Cole Winterbottom takes on freshman Grant Vander Hayden during the winter pep rally. Vander Hayden ultimately took the title, 2-1 aggregate. < There are approximately 522 dolphins around campus. Find out about other interesting facts in centerspread. Discover the unknown, ? 10-11 photos by Emily Cullen & Emily Roulund TRIVI A OPINION Fading Line Between News and Entertainment Is the plethora of poltical news shows distorting our perceptions of current events? Hear Matt’s opinion, 13 Superintendent Delivers First $17 Billion ‘State of the District’ Address Total amount of cuts the State of California has made in educational funding over the past two years. By Salil Dudani Copy Editor INDEX News.......................2-5 Feature...................6-9 Centerspread.....10-11 Opinion..............12-13 Entertainment...14-15 Sports.................16-20 Interim Superintendent Dr. Roberta “Bobbi” Mahler gave a “State of the School District” talk in the Dana Hills High School Porthole Theater on the night of Tues., Dec. 19. Lasting about an hour, the remarkably apolitical presentation covered the realities of Capistrano Unified School District’s (CUSD) situation, the district’s goals and the latest news from the Governor’s office; there was a brief Q&A session afterward. With about 40 in attendance (including Trustee Ellen Addonizio), the Porthole was largely empty, which many optimistically attributed to the stormy weather. It was the first of what will be six such talks, each to be delivered at one of CUSD’s high schools. Mahler outlined three points when discussing the district’s aims: acceleration of students’ learning, maintenance of a safe and healthy environment at all school sites and effective communication with all stakeholders in the school district. She expressly defined the obstacles to these aims early on. Mahler called a dis- tressed economy, sustained political regulations, rising costs and transitional leadership “the four 50-foot waves” that CUSD has been attempting to ride through. And Dana Hills Principal Dr. Robert Nye made a point in his introduction that would be echoed throughout the night: The problems faced by the school district are not unique to CUSD, ultimately stemming from above. The Superintendent described federal and state funding as “vaporous,” at one point being forthright enough to say, “Kept promises from the state and federal governments are few.” Mahler continued, “And often they come with so many strings attached that they become insignificant or even detrimental to our purposes.” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent Proposed Budget tells no happier a story. As Kim Anderson of the PTA Legislation Committee explained, “In his State of the State address on Wed., Jan. 6, the Governor promised he would protect education. […] Then Fri., Jan. 8 came, and his proposed budget included a $2.4 billion cut to education.” [See Mahler Speaks, Page 2] $2.4 Billion Amount of additional cuts Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to make under his Proposed Budget. $21.5 Million CUSD’s 2010-2011 project shortfall. $12 Million Amount of money that would be added to CUSD’s deficit if the state legislature acts on all aspects of the Governor’s proposal. PAGE 2 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL NEWS June Election Loses Support in Face of CUSD Lawsuit An alteration to how CUSD elects its trustees making for smallerscaled elections will be put to a vote; the question of when has caused much contention. The district holds that it should be added to the November general election, costing no more than $20,000 and first taking effect in Nov. 2012. Petitioners have been seeking a special ballot in June, in time for the general election this November at the cost of as much as $500,000. The debate continues. By Salil Dudani Copy Editor On Wed., Jan. 20, the Orange County Department of Education’s (OCDE) County Committee on School District Organization re-opened the issue of whether to hold a special election on voting-methodology in June. It had previously approved the election against the school board’s wishes and is now facing a lawsuit for doing so. One week earlier, the chief petitioners who had headed the effort to hold the June election reversed their stance. At the Jan. 13 Committee meeting, the first to be held since CUSD announced its intention to sue on Dec. 15, parent Erin Kutnick asked the Committee to rescind its Sept. 30 decision to approve a special election— a decision that she and the other parents in the room pushed to enact. “We agreed that it was ridiculous to be spending what little money we have to both prosecute and defend a lawsuit involving four separate government agencies in the worst budget crisis in history,” Kutnick explains. (The four involved are CUSD and the three agencies it has filed suit against: the Committee, the Orange County Registrar of Voters and the OCDE.) The ex-proponents of the election do not believe that the lawsuit has any merit and see this move as a stall tactic on the part of the trustees. If the decision were not resolved in court by Mar. 12, the filing deadline for items on the June ballot, there could be no election until November. In Kutnick’s eyes, the trustees “won without having to win the suit,” so she and the other two chief petitioners, Kevin Kirwan and Marilyn Amato, unanimously decided that they “might as well try to save the money.” But there are skeptics on the other side of the aisle who are not convinced that the reversal came purely out of concern for CUSD’s financial welfare. On Jan. 12, the night before the Committee meeting, the newly formed Parents for Local Control announced that they will be starting the process of recalling Trustees Ken Lopez-Maddox and Mike Winsten. If Parents for Local Control is successful in all requisite steps, the voters will be presented with the option of recalling the two trustees in the November general election. And since Lopez-Maddox and Winsten were elected at large, they would have to be recalled at large as well. This is a little-known rule not contained in the school board’s bylaws. There are those who believe that the petitioners learned of the rule just recently and that, before knowing it, they planned to utilize a bytrustee area method in November to increase their chances at ousting the trustees and gaining a majority on the board. Thus would it be important that a June election establish a new methodology in time for November. But now that it has come to light that the two trustees have to be recalled by an at- large vote, much of the motivation to set an election date in June was lost, asserts Trustee Winsten. He believes this is the true story behind the change of heart expressed on Jan. 13. While admitting she was unaware of the obscure rule, Kutnick says the first she ever heard of it was on Jan. 14, one day after the Committee meeting. Nor did anyone else among the petitioners know of the law prior to Jan. 14, according to Kutnick. A public hearing will be held on Wed., Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the CUSD district office in San Juan Capistrano so that the Committee has a chance to gauge public opinion before making a further decision. Officially, there is still a special election planned for June 8. Mahler Speaks About CUSD [continued from Pg. 1] photo by Emily Cullen Almost half of the approximately 320 people at the Jan. 12 meeting of the Board of Trustees were teachers in bright green visors adorned with the message “Settle Now!” aimed toward the trustees. The visors were distributed by the teachers’ union at its meeting immediately before the board meeting, pointedly held in the board room’s parking lot. At the union meeting, it was decided that teachers would not do any work outside their contracts for five days, starting this week, in order to raise awareness about their grievances. According to Dana Hills union rep. Connie Pettijohn, this strategy has been more effective at elementary and middle schools. “I personally do not know anyone actually working to contract,” she said in her tenth hour at school yesterday, far past what her own contract requires. Elizabeth Landers, another Dana teacher, addressed the trustees when the floor was opened to public comment. She condemned the board’s treatment of the distract’s teachers, saying that she and other young teachers are planning to leave CUSD because of it. According to Landers, when President Anna Bryson approached her for a handshake after the meeting, all she said about the frustrated speech was, “The whole time you were speaking I was mesmerized by your lipstick. What color is it?” Landers feels Bryson was not listening to what she had to say. BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE For Dana Hills High School students only… If you buy one 8 oz. sized yogurt, we’ll Treat you to one 8 oz. sized yogurt absolutely FREE! LOCATED IN OCEAN RANCH VILLAGE II Present coupon when ordering. One coupon per person. Not good with any other offer. Toppings not included. Expires 1/27/10 The $2.4 billion would come on top of $17 billion the State of California has cut in education funding over the last two years, according to Anderson. If the state legislature decides to act on every one of the Governor’s proposals, $12 million would be added to CUSD’s current deficit for the 2010-2011 school year. This is not expected to happen. But not all news regarding the 2010-2011 budget was so grim, for it was announced that the projected shortfall—an oft-quoted figure of $25.1 million—has dropped to $21.5 million. These funds materialized due to reorganization of departments, position vacancies and unexpected savings in health insurance. Ten questions were asked after Mahler’s presentation, accepted in writing and pre-approved to ensure that no hostile rhetoric reached the Superintendent’s hands. Four of the questions were straightforward and were answered comprehensively. However, Mahler took offence to the question, “How many of the recommendations that you have made to the [school] board have been accepted and utilized? Can you give the details of this?” Her only response was, “I am not inclined to answer that question. I do not feel that that is a question in good faith.” The other four questions were the only instances in which Mahler allowed discussion on objects of political controversy. She forcefully defended the fact-finding process, the current stage of negotiation with the teachers, and urged everyone to trust it. In addition, she justified CUSD’s expenditures on 11 law firms by explaining the need for specialized legal counsel for a district as large as CUSD, then held her ground when asked about the teachers laid off throughout the district at the end of the last school year. The Superintendent closed the evening by reminding the audience, “Let’s keep focused on the kids; they are the most important people in our district.” -Salil Dudani THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Dolphins Prepare to Bust-A-Move By Stephanie Wright & Idean Moslehi Sports Editor & Staff Writer Preparations for Air Guitar 2010 are underway as the annual event held in March looms closer. Applications are due to Activities Director Ken Nedler on Feb. 12, and auditions will be held Feb. 24 and 25. Tickets are set to go on sale Mar. 3 and 4. Prices range from $7 for general admission, $10 for select reserve, and $15 for house tickets. The show will be performed three times, once on Mar. 11 at 7:00 p.m. and twice on Mar. 12 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Lighting and Sound will again be in charge of putting on the show, a responsibility that includes playing the music and designing lights for each performance. The theme this year is Bust-A-Move, decided upon differently this year, according to junior Michael Stoeffler, ASU’s Senior Commissioner of Activities. “This year, both ASU and Legislative Council selected two possible themes each. Then we had voting on the themes on Facebook. We did this to try and get more voices heard and get more involvement.” According to Stoeffler, lighting and sound are “the backbone” of the production. However, ASU is responsible for pre-planning, which encompasses group organization, tryouts, advertisement and ticket sales, etc. Nedler expects the show to cost more than last year--about $12,780. The number of performances will remain similar to last year’s with 12 to 14 groups going on stage. Unlike years past, ASU’s performance will not be to “Bust-A-Move,” the song whose title is chosen as the theme. Also new this year is the voting process to choose the best performances. Specially marked ballots will be included with programs so that the counting will be more legitimate. Ballots without special markings will not be counted. Sun Sets for Formal By Aralyn Beaumont & Jacob Hayward Opinion Editor & Staff Writer The theme of this year’s Winter Formal will be “Dancing in the Moonlight,” a take on the 1973 song by King Harvest thought of by the sophomore class. After bubbling in their last answers, students will leave their final exams for the dance on Thurs., Feb. 4. Located at the South Mesa Club on the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton, the dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m. Contracts are available in front of the activities window. Today is the last day for the Early Bird Special, which takes $5 off each person’s ticket. Regular prices are $35 for a single with an ASU card and $50 without; tickets for a couple with two ASU cards are $65, for a couple with one ASU card are $90, and for a couple without ASU cards are $95. PAGE 3 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 NEWS As of Feb. 1, $25 will be added to the regular prices; that offer ends on Feb. 3. Bids cannot be placed on the day of Formal, so make sure that you have your date. Junior Sarah Kiddoo already asked her date by dressing up like a chicken and running into Mr. Speidel’s third period Calculus AB class, exclaiming to junior Adam DeBrosse, “Don’t be a chicken, go to Winter Formal with me!” Needless to say, DeBrosse was not a chicken. RECOGNITION OF TRUSTEES, SUPERINTENDENT, AND CONTRIBUTORS: BOARD OF TRUSTEES Anna Bryson, President Ken Lopez-Maddox, Vice President Jack R. Brick, Clerk Ellen Addonizio Larry Christensen Sue Palazzo Mike Winsten Bobbie Mahler, Interim Superintendent Hurley Extends Invite to General Population By Elizabeth Chaddock & Max Rosen News Editor & Staff Writer Dana Hills has been invited back to participate in the tenth annual Hurley Walk the Walk Competition, a “fashion showdown” that incorporates artistic vision and originality. In past years, the event has been exclusive to ASU, but, as ASU President Jeremy Lin said, “This year it will be more diversified, and more students will be involved.” Dana will be competing against 40 schools for a grand prize of $30,000, which, if won, will go towards the school and the art department. This year the competition consists of two rounds. The first round includes the submission of three two-minute-long videos: one in January, one in February, and one in March. Dana will be receive $500 for each video it submits. ASU Human Relations Officer Roxi Jarvis said, “The first video will be introducing our theme, our story, and Dana Hills’ DNA.” The second video, due in February, will require the contestants to use Hurley clothes and reconstruct them to follow Dana’s theme. The third entry will showcase a window design created at a local Hurley retail- er. Ten percent of what people buy at that Hurley store will go to the school. People will vote for their favorite videos online, and the two videos with the most votes (along with one wild card) will get to go to the championship in Huntington Beach in August. If Dana makes it to the second round, about 50 kids will be needed to volunteer. Thus far over 100 students have been willing to contribute. For more information on how you can support our school in the competition, check out the Walk the Walk Facebook group online. Dana won in 2006 and placed second in the West Coast Championship last year. PAGE 4 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 NEWS THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Environmental Science Students Gain Firsthand Experience By Pia Bhathal Editor-in-Chief AP Environmental Science (APES) students visited the Orange County Sanitation and Water Districts in Fountain Valley on Jan. 6 and 8 in order to gain first-hand knowledge about the process of sewage treatment and water purification. This year marks the third trip to the sewage plant; Dang has organized this field trip ever since receiving a recommendation to visit a local sewage treatment plant at an AP conference. She has noted that students who attend the field trip perform well on the portion of the AP exam in May that pertains to water treatment and sanitization. “I want to get [my students] out of the classroom and show them how the process actually works, instead of lecturing all the time,” remarked Dang. “Plus, I like to gross [them] out.” At the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) students donned hardhats and safety glasses while touring the various parts of the plant. They learned about the several processes sewage undergoes in order to become clean enough to be sent to the Orange County Water District (OCWD) for purification. Dang hopes to “bring more awareness about what not to flush down the toilet by teaching her students about the effects of disposing toxic waste. At the OCWD, the students followed water through the three steps of purification: microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet radiation. After completing the tour, which provided an inside look at each of the three processes, students were given the opportunity to drink water that originated from sewage at the OCSD. Senior Dean Hamman commented, “It tasted like normal water from the sink.” During the tour, students attempted to make a video at the district. However, the OCWD’s General Manager’s assistant, Becky Mudd, prohibited them from filming because of security precautions. Although fund-raising was needed to fund the field trip the last two years, a Target field trip grant covered the cost this year. Next month, APES students will visit Crystal Cove to study ocean acidification. photo courtesy of Dolores Dang AP Environmental Science students prepare to learn about water purification and sewage treatment at the Orange County Sanitation and Water Districts in Fountain Valley. photo courtesy of Blair Widtfeldt Basking in the Los Angeles sun, the AP Art History class admires the beautiful architecture at the J. Paul Getty Museum on Jan. 6. AP Art History Visits the Getty By Devin Valenciano Entertainment Editor On Wed., Jan. 6, AP Art History students took a field trip to the scenic Getty Museum. Under the supervision of teacher Blair Widtfeldt and her grandmother, the class appreciated works of art ranging from elaborate Van Gogh paintings to simple Rembrandt sketches. Widtfeldt said of the field trip, “I really enjoy taking my students to the Getty. They have one of the best art collections in the area, the architecture and ambiance are amazing, and admission is free. It’s a great experience.” The trip supplemented the curriculum studied by the AP Art History students, although most of the artwork shown at the Getty was more modern than what they have covered so far in class. Still, Widtfeldt commented, “The exhibits were a great introduction to the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.” The AP Art History class was treated to a wide variety of works, admiring medieval illuminated manuscripts at one moment and marvelling at post-impressionist masterpieces the next. The special exhibit of Rembrandt pieces at the museum was particularly interesting for the students. The class was not limited to simply admiring the art, however. Under the instruction of professional tour guides, students participated in exercises ranging from drawing their own grotesques to attempting to mirror the work of a medi- eval scribe. “Drawing grotesques was totally worth doing!” commented senior Donovan McKinney. The Getty Museum is famous for its fantastic architecture, specially engineered to manipulate light and create a unique atmosphere. When not strolling through the exhibits, students could be found admiring the maze-like garden and gazing towards the distant Los Angeles buildings. Senior Jim Myers observed, “The architecture was more interesting than the art at some points. Just walking around the museum was entertaining in itself.” The students are looking forward to another trip at the end of the year to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL NEWS A Day for the Environment By Sam Lepore News Editor On Dec. 17, our school’s Surfrider organization participated in A Day Without a Bag, showing the community that it does not take much to make a difference and help the environment. In particular, the event focused on reducing the 6 billion bags used in Los Angeles each year. Members of the organization spent the afternoon handing out reusable canvas bags at the Ocean Ranch shopping center in Laguna Niguel. Various environmental organizations, including Surfrider from both Dana and other schools such as San Clemete and Lake Forest, got involved and celebrated A Day Without a Bag at more than fifty locations state-wide. The club distributed over 800 reusable canvas bags and raised public awareness with the help of dedicated volunteers. Members of the club unable to fill volunteer positions for A Day Without a Bag donated their used plastic bags for an unusual form of environmental enthusiasm. Volunteers covered senior officer Gavin Scott head to toe in plastic grocery bags and nicknamed him “the plastic bag monster.” By doing so, they hoped to show people the detrimental effects that plastic bags have on the environment, thereby motivating them to use the reusable bags. Senior vice president Aly Trachtman said, “The highlight of the day was definitely standing on the corner of Golden Lantern and Camino del Avion with Gavin dressed in a costume made of 100 plastic bags and watching people roll up their windows as they passed.” Scott commented, “People would either wave wildly or look at me like I was an idiot. For the most part, though, people were generally happy to support our cause.” Scott’s flamboyant display seemed to work; the event was a huge success, according to senior club president Natalie Testa. “Now that the people around Laguna Niguel have the canvas bags, they have NO excuse not to use them when they shop,” said Trachtman. “I know that we will see Surfrider canvas totes around our supermarkets!” The organization also participates in regular beach clean ups and other events. PAGE 5 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 photo by Emily Roulund Attracting the attention of many passersby, Gavin Scott promotes “A Day Without a Bag.” a Surfrider-hosted event, on the corner of Golden Lantern and Camino del Avion. Administration Addresses Tardy Policy Complaints By Lexi Cotcamp News Editor In instituting the new tardy sweeps, the school administration has faced harsh criticism from students, who have complained that the sweeps do more harm than good. Amongst those concerned, Junior ASU President Jeremy Lin acknowledged the problems of the new system. “We weren’t targeting the right students. Students would be right next to their class when they got swept; that just wasted time. Someone who could have been 30 seconds late to class was ten minutes late instead,” commented Lin. Though skeptical of the new system, Lin recognizes the validity of the school’s attempt to improve the tardy policy. Since putting the sweeps into effect, both teachers and administration noted that students were decidedly more concerned with being on time to class due to the realization that failure to do so would result in ‘being swept’ and a detention. Lin agreed, “The old tardy policy was ineffective because some teachers enforced it while others did not. We needed a more efficient system.” Addressing the increasingly irate opponents of the new tardy policy, Lin met with the administration on Tues. Jan. 5 to propose modifications that would serve as a compromise between student complaints and the clear need for an improvement in student punctuality. At the meeting, Lin brought sophomore Annahita Haghighi’s letter to the editor from the last edition of THE PAPER along with various student complaints to the attention of the administration in order to defend his position. At the administration meeting on Tues. Jan. 12, assistant principal Cindy Steinert noted Lin’s concerns and agreed to discuss the matter with the proctors. Steinert confirmed that tardy sweeps would definitely continue; however, students who were in the im- mediate vicinity of their class and visibly attempting to be on time would be treated with more lenience than before. “We know that there are kids who have never been late in their lives. But it still comes back to ‘if you’re late--you’re late,’” Steinert pointed out. In addition, the administration is looking into creating a survey that will allow teachers to give personal feedback and suggestions in respect to the new tardy sweeps. While Steinert remained firm in her belief that it is the students’ responsbility to be on time to class, she remained sympathetic to those who were swept despite their best attempts to be on time. Steinert reaffirmed, “Our goal is to improve the learning and educational environment. We’re still loooking at ways to improve the policy. If we can make it better, we will.” Lin concluded, “I think the students will be satisfied by the changes. Our administrative team is much more willing to compromise than the student body would expect.” PAGE 6 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 FEATURE Survey: What sport would you add to Dana? Why? “ “Pokemon battles because I’m Asian.” - Wesley Lu, 10 “Full contact Scrabble. Now that’s hard core.” - Austin Norton, 12 “Interpretive snorkeling because that would be interesting.” - Paisley Greenspan, 9 THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Random Kid Spotlight: Cameron Foster isn’t your average tricycle rider. I t’s easy,” said Cameron Foster nonchalantly, peering down from his perch seven feet from the ground. “Easier than riding a bicycle, for me.” To test his modesty I decided to mount his “tricycle” myself; a few minutes later, I was on the ground, very confused and with a deep cut in my leg. But it was too early to give up, and Foster reassured me with the words every male loves to hear: “If you fall like that again, the seat will probably pop up right into your [groin].” While I wasn’t that unlucky, all I had to show for my second attempt was a bruised knee and a bruised ego. Take it from me —it’s not easy. Foster, a freshman, was first introduced to a traditional unicycle at the age of nine. To him it doesn’t seem odd that he doesn’t remembering falling at first. “I tried it and I liked it,” he explains in a what-more-isthere-to-it tone. Then again, to him, it doesn’t seem odd that he started riding skateboards at the age of two. After that first experience with a unicycle, he has literally worked his way up to his current tricycle, riding taller and taller cycles. This might not even be the final destination; some of photo by Emily Cullen Towering from above, Cameron Foster cycles with ease on his modified “tricycle.” these tricycles run up to 12 feet in height. “But the only guy I’ve seen on one of these is in the circus,” Foster remarks incredulously, as if anyone willing to ride such a thing is completely crazy. Fortunately, he has never suffered a serious fall, even when he does stunts like “freemounting,” which is what he calls it when he sands on the bottom wheel and jumps up to the seat. Overall, though, his three-wheeled seven-footer is just for “cruising”—it’s on his five-foot “giraffe” unicycle that he “jumps” and “does 180’s and stuff.” The giraffe is his favorite. Perhaps what’s hardest to believe is that Cameron is not alone. He is in a unicycle club (not related to Dana) whose members ride various contraptions, such as Coker unicycles. “A Coker isn’t a unicycle, but just a ginormous wheel—those things are made for speed; we have races with them,” Foster explained. At its bonfires, the club likes to play basketball on the giraffes and go on off-road terrain rides on normal unicycles. Anyone bold enough to emulate Cameron can order a unicycle or related cycle on unicycle.com, which is where Cameron gets his gear. -Salil Dudani Runner Ranks Thirtieth in Nation By Tyler Hartung & Jake Hayward Sports Editor & Staff Writer “Freestyle rap battle because it needs to be done.” - Kirk Singleton, 12 “Golf-cart racing; I like to go fast.” -Larson Pfeil, 11 “Quidditch because University High already has a team” - Andrew Padula, 12 photos by Emily Roulund, Emily Cullen and Andrew Oh I t’s no secret that Dana Hills has a stellar cross country team, but what is a great team without a strong leader? Junior Alaina Alvarez has proven herself to be this leader on the girls’ cross country team by continuing to raise the bar for those around her. Along with another league title for the Dolphins, some of her individual accolades this year include AllLeague Honors, South Coast League Champion, first place at CIF Finals, third in the state and thirtieth at Footlocker Nationals. “I worked hard all season. My coach had me run hills, intervals, and distance to train,” Alvarez commented. “At our training camp, we literally ran up mountains in Big Bear; it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so pretty much everything after that seemed like cake. But it turned out to be worth it in the end.” Alvarez says she took up running after her brother previously ran for the team at Dana. “My brother gave me a huge advantage,” Alvarez added. “Since I went to all of his races I got to see the courses ahead of time, so I kind of knew what to expect as a freshman.” Alvarez went straight to the varsity team as a freshman and has remained there ever since. After a strong sophomore season, she made the seamless transition from under-classman to number one runner and team captain. “God’s my motivation,” Alvarez said. “Without a strong faith, I don’t know where I’d be, and running has allowed me to grow in that aspect. My parents and coaches are also a huge part of my success. I’m extremely thankful I’ve been placed amongst such great people.” After South Coast League Finals and State Finals, Alvarez was invited to compete individually at Footlocker Nationals, a huge accomplishment for a high school runner. She qualified by finishing ninth at Regionals at Mt. SAC. “Footlocker was my favorite memory of the season,” Alvarez said. “I got tons of free stuff and met lots of cool people and professional runners. Plus I got a free stay at the Hotel Del Coronado, which was awesome. It was a weekend of goodies.” At nationals, she ended up finishing 30 out of 40, which is something she hopes to improve upon next season. “Hopefully I get invited back next year,” Alvarez commented. “I think if I train hard again I can finish in the top 15. That earns me All-American Honors, so it’s something to shoot for.” Along with improving her place at Nationals, Alvarez says her goals for next season consist of repeating her accomplishments from last season while improving her times as well. Alvarez looks to continue her running career after high school and into college. Universities such as the Naval Academy and the University of Louisville have already contacted her about running for their school. When she isn’t running, Alvarez remains active by riding her bike and going to the beach with her friends and family. photo courtesy of DHHS Cross Country Winning third place in the state meet and attending the Footlocker Nationals, junior Alaina Alvarez is a cross country champ. THE PAPER FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 FEATURE PAGE 7 DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Universities Recruit Promising Student Athletes By Jake Rosen, Kathryn Hessenauer & Ben Shapero Sports Editor & Staff Writers I t was earlier this year that Dana Hills was ranked ninth in the country for athletics. Many of the school’s best athletes from a variety of sports have already committed to colleges. Kimmie Conner has been avidly involved in varsity track for a grand total of four years and has no intentions of stopping. She is a stellar athlete who has earned herself an athletic scholarship to UCLA. But UCLA was not Conner’s the only college vying for her athletic talent; Stanford University and University of Santa Barbara fought for her as well. The choice was entirely up to Conner and in October 2009 she took official visits photo by Emily Roulund Showing off her tennis skills, Victoria Wang is deciding between UC Davis, UCLA, and Washington University as potential colleges to attend next year. to each college, meeting with coaches and teammates. She made her final decision upon taking a tour of UCLA’s campus. For Peter Tago the college application process was simple. He was accepted during his sophomore summer to UCLA with a full ride for baseball. Tago was scouted while he was playing for his club team, the Placentia Mustangs. The team was playing a series of games in Arizona, when during the middle of the week, UCLA scouts spotted his outstanding pitching skills. His father received a phone call one evening from a scout offering him the chance of a lifetime. Tago’s father was eager to tell him but instead, withheld the information, making Peter beg him to tell him the good news. This June he will be eligible to be drafted in the MLB. Girls soccer currently has three girls receiving athletic scholarships. Alex Costello is going to USC on a 50 percent scholarship for the first year and a full ride scholarship for the last three years. She has actively participated in soccer for the last 14 years of her life. She cites USC’s school spirit, soccer coach, and “really good soccer program” as the main reasons for her selection. Costello plans on majoring in pre-law but is indecisive on whether she will pursue a spot on the Olympic team or a professional team. photo by Emily Roulund Awaiting their graduation, senior athletes Sam O’Brian, Patrick Matchett and Kimmie Conner are all attending UCLA in the fall. Not pictured: Patrick Matchett, Sam O’Brian. Chelsea Brigham, who has received a scholarship to Colorado State Pueblo, has been playing soccer since she was five. She was offered several scholarships from Mesa State, California State Monterey Bay and the Academy of Art San Francisco. After college, she plans on pursuing a career in journalism, which she is majoring in. Hannah Nicks received a partial scholarship from California State San Marcos; her decision was based on location. “I’m attending Cal State San Marcos because it was close to home and I’m not ready to leave home yet,” com- mented Nicks. However, she does not plan on playing soccer after college. Lauren Shute chose to accept her offer for a full ride to University of Richmond, Virginia, because she “really likes the coach and the other players.” She has been playing since she was in third grade and plans on possibly playing after college, if she gets the opportunity. Alec Sundly is ranked thirty-sixth in the nation for his age group in soccer. He is attending UC Berkeley next year on a full ride scholarship. “After I took my first official visit, I knew it was the best decision for me. It’s not too far but not too close. I also get free Nike gear,” commented Sundly. Sundly started playing soccer when he was seven. Now he plays for the Irvine Strikers. After college, he dreams of playing soccer in Europe for the club team Arsenal. Stirkers teammate Patrick Matchett will be going to UCLA on an athletic scholarship. Volleyball star Sam O’Brian is also going to UCLA for athletics. Girls tennis players Laura Wilke, Katina Zampas, and Victoria Wang are all currently receiving offers from colleges for athletic scholarships.Signings will take place in the spring. PAGE 8 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 FEATURE THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Blogging Becomes Popular Amongst Students By Aly Vander Hayden Feature Editor A s technology has expanded, blogging and communicating online have become more prominent, mostly with teenagers. After I started my own fashion Tumblr blog, From Pacific to Atlantic, with senior McKenzie Tremblay in order to keep in touch when we go off to college, I discovered Dana’s own mini-blogging community and why students love to blog on systems such as Tumblr and Blogspot. Senior Yearbook Editorin-Chief Anais Ziae-Mohseni uses her Tumblr as a way to find interesting graphic design material for The Mast as well as her personal portfolio. “I have more friends on Tumblr than I do in real life... Tumblarity is the bane of my existence.” -Kathryn Gullickson Active Tumblr User “[My blog] helps keep me up to date with new design trends,” commented Ziae- Mohseni, “and having a blog is easy, because I can use it as one big online reference without saving everything to my computer.” Fellow Yearbook staffers senior Kathryn Gullickson and junior Vivian Dang who “follow” Ziae-Mohseni also use Tumblr as a type of large online archive for “inspirational” photos, as well as keeping track of new music to download. “I mostly do it to keep entertained and distract myself from the harsh reality of life,” joked Gullickson, “I have more friends on Tumblr than I do in real life…Tumbularity is the bane of my existence.” Both agreed that they do not like having their “real life” online, and they keep their blogs as far away from a personal diary as possible. “I also have a blog because I really like following people who interest me,” said Gullickson. “I don’t have to look at other people’s stupid posts, like on Facebook; I can choose what I look at and don’t look at.” Junior Ruth Frey agreed, “I like Tumblr because it’s not just people writing about how their lives suck or anything; it’s just a place where people can share whatever they want; pictures, music, quotes etc.” Senior Lauren Gray, a photographer, created her Tum- blr account to record what “is happening in [her] life,” she posts nothing too private, and reblogs others’ posts she finds “interesting or inspiring.” “I put up photographs, music, and small posts on what’s going on in my life,” stated Gray. Senior Mary Claire Roman also uses her Tumblr as a way to blog a combination of her photographs as well as others’ photographs. “I [blog] because I want to share beautiful things,” said Roman “It is one of my favorite ways to get inspired, because I am exposed to so many different forms of art, music genres and poetic writings every day.” “I blog in order for more people to see my photography and point of view,” stated senior yearbook staffer Kevin Fuhrmann. “My blog’s called ‘Shamless Self-Promotion’ because popularity matters, and sometimes you have to create some of it yourself,” he added. Blogging has become another way for young people to express and share their ideas through various social networking sites. These sites influence trend setting fashion, harbor new music and advertise photography and art. As Gullickson stated, “Blogging incorporates the whole teenage lifestyle. GPAC Club Promotes Religious Diversity By Lexi Cotcamp News Editor W hile many clubs at the school have emerged based upon the celebration of a single religion (i.e. Jewish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes), no club at the school or in the district has ever been formed to promote the peaceful coexistence of all religions—until now. At the beginning of the school year, junior Gage Greenspan formed a world religions club with the chief purpose of showing students that there are countless other religions in the world, most of which are unknown to students. In accordance with renowned Beatle John Lennon’s legendary quote “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” Greenspan named the club GPAC as an acronym for “Give Peace A Chance.” “The name for the new club came to me immediately,” beamed Beatles fan Greenspan. “When I shared it with Mr. [Timothy] Sampson, he thought it was perfect.” However, Greenspan’s plans to a create a religiously diverse club weren’t always the same as they are today. “[GPAC] was originally going to be another club focusing more on one particular religion.” admitted Greenspan. “I introduced this idea to our teacher advisor, Mr. Sampson, who thought it was a good idea, but he believed that we could affect more people in the school by giving the club a new form.” “Hopefully, this will allow students to become more understanding and have more respect for not only other religions and their members, but also for members of different races as well.” -Gage Greenspan GPAC President While the club, consisting of roughly 35 members, is open to all students of all religions, Greenspan acknowledged the need to “be really careful about what you talk about.” For its first event, GPAC held a holiday party on Dec.18, 2009, the day before the students’ winter holiday. The animated festivities, which focused on the religion of Judaism, included wild games of Dreidel, traditional Jewish music, and, of course, the mass consumption of ‘shiny gold coins’ (a.k.a. the finest milk chocolate in all of Dana Point). Said Greenspan of the latest events, “We had a lot of fun being in Mr. Sampson’s room during the holiday party, and kids were also having a great time at a recent club meeting where we played charades.” During future meetings, GPAC will continue to hold events where students of less widely known religions stand up in front of club members and explain both basic facts and interesting details about their personal religion. Greenspan hopes to celebrate other religions by organizing Friday events much like the pre-winter break revels. “We plan to do a community service event,” remarked Greenspan, “But the club is not based around community service.” He continued, “However, it does encourage members to help their community by spreading the idea that different religions can get along peacefully.” As a long-term goal for later in the year, Greenspan plans to arrange a club community service event. At their meeting on Jan. 15, sophomore Emily Horton proposed and GPAC members discussed the idea of raising money for support groups in Haiti as the club’s community service project. In addition, he plans to spread the message of GPAC to other schools, where he hopes a GPAC club, or one similar to it, will form. “Hopefully, this will allow students to become more understanding and have more respect for not only other religions and their members, but also for members of different races as well,” affirmed Greenspan. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL PAGE 9 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 FEATURE Yolanda Villareal: The Human Calculator the job above that would be a computer operator, so I knew I could eventually move up. I don’t mind starting at the bottom if I could see myself moving up in the future. What activities are you involved in outside of work? I love to cook. I used to own a Mexican restaurant, and we would do catering as well. I worked at a hospital and catered for some of the doctors and staff. By Annie Bubinski & Sage Sullivan Sports Editor & Staff Writer A fter eight years of handling the school’s financing and countless high school students, the activities clerk, Yolanda Villareal, is retiring. Here’s our one-on-one conversation with the woman behind the window. Have you worked at any other schools? I started at Niguel Hills, and then I worked at Aliso Middle School. I was a custodian there. I was the best; they didn’t even want me to leave. Before I came to Dana, I worked at George White Elementary School. I’ve worked here in the district for 17 years, and I’ve been here in this office since Oct. 2001. I started here as a custodian, then a locker room attendant, and lastly I came here. Q: A: Q: A: “I’ve worked here in the district for 17 years, and I’ve been here in this office since Oct. 2001.” - Yolanda Villareal Activities Clerk I also worked for eight years at South Coast Medical Center as an operating room aid. My favorite job was “It’s crazy watching the students come in as freshmen and out as seniors. The change is amazing.” - Yolanda Villareal Activities Clerk photo by Emily Cullen Undaunted by her load of work to complete, Yolanda Villareal processes forms and enters data into her computer. working for Hartford Escrow. I felt like I was starting people’s lives. I worked for four or five years, and then I got laid off. I would probably still be working there, but everything happens for a reason. How do you like working at Dana? I love being here at Dana. It’s crazy watching the students come in as freshmen and out as seniors. The change is amazing, especially in my Q: A: ASU kids. This year is going to be really hard especially because it’s not just good-bye to them; it’s good-bye for me too. I’ve also made tons of friends here with teachers, staff, and office personnel. Did you always see yourself working at a school? In an office, yes, but never at a school site. You normally think of working at a school as being a teacher, Q: A: and I never imagined doing that when I was younger. I always loved school when I was little. In my generation, though, you get out of school, get married, buy a house and have kids. How did you get involved in all of the financial business at Dana? My first job with finances was a data entry job, and I took school computer classes. Eventually a job as a receptionist came up, and Q: A: The restaurant was called Tony’s Mexican Food in Capo Beach. My favorite thing to cook is chicken tacos with beans and rice. What goes on in your office? What exactly do you do? I pay all the bills and process all the P.O.s as well as do all the banking. They call me the calculator, because I keep track of all the money teachers and sports are able to spend. I sell tickets for all the dances. I am very Spicky. Sometimes you’re off by a penny and you can’t just say, “Oh, it’s just a penny.” You have to find that penny. I Q: A: It used to take me days but I’ve done it so many times that now it only takes me about an hour. Sometimes, I feel like Cinderella, locked up, so I like to go across to the office to see what is going on and to visit with the adults every once in a while. I often have my radio playing in my office too. Music keeps me alive. How has the school atmosphere changed since you have started working here? All the upgrades, like the buildings in the back, the covered eating area, and the track. The students still come in wide-eyed as freshmen and pretty mature as seniors. For the most part, the students have remained very kind and considerate. What are your plans for after you retire? I’m going to go lay on the beach and drink fruity drinks. My husband has had 25 years in his line of construction work. We are ready to retire and want to just relax. We have a lot of work to do on our home in Ensenada. My kids are all grown up so there’s nobody to hold us back. I want to travel to the Grand Canyon. We are just going to pick from all of the places he wants to see and I want to see that we haven’t had a chance to travel to. There are also some places in Mexico I’ve never been to and would like to see. I also want to see more of the U.S., like Washington D.C. and Vermont, in the fall. Q: A: Q: A: Visit D rivers Ed.c during om and en ter the on line p discount* c ayme nt pro ode CAHS3 cess. Online Drivers Ed • Fun, flexible lessons so you pass your permit test • California DMV-approved • 50 free online permit practice tests Driving Lessons in Your Area • Practice driving in brand-new MINI Coopers! • Free driving-lesson pick-up and drop-off • Licensed instructors teach you to drive Questions? Call us at 1-888-651-AUTO. Want a fast, easy way to fundraise for your class? Earn a 25% commission and save your friends 15% off drivers ed. Visit www.DriversEd.com/Associate-Programs. *Discount for online drivers ed class only. H_BW_6x8_F3 © 2009 DriversEd.com THE PAPER FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 PAGE 10-11 DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL CENTERSPREAD 2 1 5 4 3 6 7 9 8 10 11 12 16 Steve says child at least 100 times a day, even more if he does not know a student’s name. 14 13 15 18 17 Child! The Down Low on Dana: Everything You Never Knew The top speed of Steve’s golf cart is 12 miles per hour. 1. There is the same number of BMWs as Mazdas in the senior lot. 2. The school was originally built for 1800 students and housed 1102 students. Currently, Dana Hills has 2930 students (1480 girls vs. 1450 boys). 3. The stadium’s maximum capacity is 2700, possibly leaving 230 students seatless. 4. The first dance theme was titled “Snow Flake Fantasy Formal.” 5. The best prank ever pulled was when students placed the principal’s car inside the mall. 6. 3,710,000 sheets of paper are used yearly. 7. Toyota is the most popular car in the lot, numbering 55 cars. 8. There is a total of 1687 lockers. 9. There are 11 security cameras on campus. 10. The most frequently bought food is pizza; the least purchased is the turkey sandwich. 11. The English department, with 22 teachers, is big enough to staff an elementary school. 12. Proctors are required to wear Hawaiian shirts as their uniform. 13. 12,500 rolls of toilet paper are used yearly (25-30 daily). 14. 352 of last year’s graduating seniors enrolled in a four year college. 15. The desks were originally orange. There are 3750 desks now. 16. Classrooms did not have telephones until the year 2000. 17. The highest GPA this year is 4.58 and rising. 18. Dana Hills was built without doors or walls for team teaching. THE PAPER FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 PAGE 10-11 DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL CENTERSPREAD 2 1 5 4 3 6 7 9 8 10 11 12 16 Steve says child at least 100 times a day, even more if he does not know a student’s name. 14 13 15 18 17 Child! The Down Low on Dana: Everything You Never Knew The top speed of Steve’s golf cart is 12 miles per hour. 1. There is the same number of BMWs as Mazdas in the senior lot. 2. The school was originally built for 1800 students and housed 1102 students. Currently, Dana Hills has 2930 students (1480 girls vs. 1450 boys). 3. The stadium’s maximum capacity is 2700, possibly leaving 230 students seatless. 4. The first dance theme was titled “Snow Flake Fantasy Formal.” 5. The best prank ever pulled was when students placed the principal’s car inside the mall. 6. 3,710,000 sheets of paper are used yearly. 7. Toyota is the most popular car in the lot, numbering 55 cars. 8. There is a total of 1687 lockers. 9. There are 11 security cameras on campus. 10. The most frequently bought food is pizza; the least purchased is the turkey sandwich. 11. The English department, with 22 teachers, is big enough to staff an elementary school. 12. Proctors are required to wear Hawaiian shirts as their uniform. 13. 12,500 rolls of toilet paper are used yearly (25-30 daily). 14. 352 of last year’s graduating seniors enrolled in a four year college. 15. The desks were originally orange. There are 3750 desks now. 16. Classrooms did not have telephones until the year 2000. 17. The highest GPA this year is 4.58 and rising. 18. Dana Hills was built without doors or walls for team teaching. PAGE 12 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL OPINION Administration Gets a “Bigger Broom” By Aly Vander Hayden & Janette Maldonado Feature Editor & Staff Writer The bell rings, and I am a mere five yards from my fourth period photography class. The proctor yells, corralling us like sheep into a corner near the art department. I turn and try to avoid my doom by making my way up the stairs to hide out in the haven of room 708, but again I am stopped by a proctor. I can no longer escape and am fated to an overdramatic lecture and a menacing, yellow piece of paper. My punishment for being only a few seconds late: an unwarranted and ridiculous one-hour afternoon school. Many of us have experienced a similar moment to what I have described above, and I can confidently state that the majority of us deem tardy sweeps to be absurd and unnecessary. The entire sweeping process is a complete waste of time. A waste of time for students as well as teachers. Instead of being only a few seconds late to class, students are released by the administration five to ten minutes after being swept. We do not need our hands held to go to our classes. So arriving a minute or two late, when most of the time nothing is really being done in class, should not be punishable. Students miss out on vital learning time in order to sign a contract for an uncalled-for sentence. When they are finally allowed to return to class, teachers must waste time by stopping their lesson and re-explaining what they had previously announced to the rest of the class. Students also run away from the proctors when they are caught, and hid in places such as other class rooms and the bathrooms. They then make their way to class fifteen or twenty minutes later, wasting even more time to avoid an afternoon school. The tardy sweeps negate teachers from writing detentions only after a student’s third tardy. This suggests that teachers’ time is saved, but, in reality, more time is wasted when teachers have their students come in later than they would have been in the first place. Teachers are the people accountable for keeping up with their students being tardy, so proctors should not be in charge of that. I believe that tardy sweeps can be efficient but not in the way they are being handled now. The administration and proctors should be focusing on students who are ditching or lagging on their way to class, not the ones bolting to their classroom a few feet away from the booming, threatening voice behind them. Or maybe the punishment could be less harsh. Perhaps a warning or three-step process like the previous discipline plan could be implemented. The punishment should fit the crime, and maybe students who are lollygagging on their way out to the 900’s for the third or fourth time deserve an afternoon school, not the students who are only a couple feet away from their classroom. If students are late, it should be acceptable to sweep those who arrive to class five minutes or later. Also, when I was swept, the bell rang a whole two minutes early. Maybe the administration could work on getting that fixed too and save me as well as the other dozen students that were swept with me a waste of a perfectly good afternoon. Waiting on the World to Change By Matt McCreadie & Calin Clifford Sports Editor & Staff Writer President Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America just over one year ago. With three years remaining in his term, it seems a fair time to take a look at our President’s record in regards to promises made and promises kept. Like any candidate for President, Obama made many promises to the voters. Candidate Obama promised such items as an end to the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 per year, doubled funding for after school care, serious restrictions on lobbyists, a five-day comment period before signing bills into law, a credit card bill of rights and a fund to provide foreclosure assistance to homeowners. While many of his promises were kept, others have been broken. One of the main reasons America voted President Obama into office was his promise for change. Americans were sick of war, sick of former President Bush and sick of a bad economy; the American voters wanted something new. President Obama promised to change numerous things. But looking back on the past year of his presidency, what has he actually accomplished so far? Most people were sold on President Obama’s promise to remove our troops from Iraq. On Oct. 27, 2007, Obama stated, “I will promise you this - that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.” President Obama took office approximately one year ago, and our troops are still in Iraq. In fact, he has recently ordered additional troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously, once a president is sworn into office, he is given new information not previously available to him. However, Obama reduced his chances of keeping approval ratings high by being so adamant and specific about his intentions. President Obama’s health care reform has been another hot topic for most people this past year. President Obama repeatedly assured our nation that the health care debate would be open and public and that no part of the process would be kept secret, explaining, “What we will do is - we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.” C-SPAN, because of Obama’s promise of transparency, has sky rocketed in viewers from around eight total to roughly…Nine. That extra viewer can blatantly see that none of the debates have been publicized, and most of the process has occurred behind closed doors. Some of the other promises that President Obama has yet to fulfill include his promise to secure double funding for after school programs, his promise to end income taxes for eligible seniors and his promise to allow five days of public comment before signing bills. To his credit, President Obama has met and/or exceeded other commitments he made to the people. He has facilitated extensive reform in the regulation of credit card companies to the benefit of consumers. He has implemented civil rights division reform, and he has instituted reformation of the mandatory minimum sentencing. One of President Obama’s most visible endeavors has been his effort to assist homeowners in their quests to save their homes by regulating the foreclosure process and ordering specific relief both before and during foreclosure proceedings. According to politifact.com, most of Obama’s plans are “in the works.” For the bulk of his agenda, he has not yet had the opportunity to pass the proper legislation to keep his word nor has he crossed it. This health care issue is lessening his ability to progress on other issues, but, relating to health care, possibly the most crucial and enlightening promise broken is his refusal to allow the GOP in on conversation regarding the new bill proposed. Obama’s biggest selling point was his appeal to all people. Without that, he has no way of uniting this arguably fractured nation. By disallowing the conservatives to contribute to the creation of this vital piece of legislation, Obama crosses the deepest line in the sand drawn. Social Responsibility Extends Further than Publicized Disasters It is the opinion of The Paper that... The widespread destruction wreaked by the recent earthquake in Haiti forces us to confront important questions-- why does it take a calamity for us to extend a helping hand to others? Should we not be mindful of the suffering and pain which runs rampant in several countries, like Haiti, on a daily basis? Numerous third-world and struggling countries are facing war, famine, disease and other troubles. But, they escape our notice due to the fact that the media and press are unable or unwilling to dwell on their hardships. Haiti is a perfect example. Significant amounts of aide were not organized to help the nation until a disaster struck, even though the nation has been in dire need of financial help for years. We need to face the reality that numerous people are suffering every day and most people are not as fortunate as ourselves. While providing support to those affected by a natural disaster, we should also keep in mind the millions of people around the world and even locally who call for our help. Yes, donating money or organizing an event to raise funds for Haiti is definitely important. But why stop there? Find a charity or organization that you think is worth your time and effort. Please, become educated about the hardships faced around the world and help someone in need before their lives are threatened. Awaken from apathetic sleep and work towards alleviating the suffering of those whose lives are not as fortunate as your own. Do your part. THE PAPER 33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point CA 92629 Rm. 708 (949) 240-9497 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.dhhspaper.com Editor-in-Chief News Editors Feature Editors Opinion Editors Centerspread Editor Entertainment Editors Sports Editors Copy Editor Advertising Sales Subscriptions Computer Technician Website Manager Adviser Pia Bhathal Lexi Cotcamp Salil Dudani Elizabeth Chaddock Sam Lepore Lauren Black Gina Scott Aly Vander Hayden Marilyn La Jenuesse Sara Gold Aralyn Beaumont Stephanie Cheng Andrew English Ben Lim Devin Valenciano Annie Bubinski Matt McCreadie Jake Rosen Gillian Slee Stephanie Wright Salil Dudani Sara Gold Lexi Cotcamp Tyler Hartung Jake Rosen Ben Lim Ben Lim Paige Gilbert Writers: Aralyn Beaumont, Pia Bhathal, Lauren Black Annie Bubinski, Elizabeth Chaddock, Stephanie Cheng, Calin Clifford, Lexi Cotcamp, Emily Cullen, Salil Dudani, Andrew English, Sara Gold, Tyler Hartung, Jacob Hayward, Kathryn Hessenauer, Marilyn La Jeunesse, Sam Lepore, Jonathan Ludlow, Janette Maldonado, Matt McCreadie, Idean Moslehi, Jake Rosen, Max Rosen, Gina Scott, Benjamin Shapero, Gillian Slee, Taylor Steinbeck, Sage Sullivan, Devin Valenciano, Aly Vander Hayden, Claudia Varney, Scarlett Varney, Stephanie Wright Photographers: Emily Roulund, Emily Cullen, Andrew Oh Cartoonist: Jessy Agle, Michael Paul, Danielle Song Distribution: Mrs. Gilbert’s 4th Period The Paper is published monthly throughout the year by Dana Hills High School newspaper students. Comments and editorial opinions expressed in The Paper are those of the staff and do not represent the position of Dana Hills High School, its administration, student government, or that of the Capistrano Unified School District. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL OPINION PAGE 13 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 It’s Not Called Entertainment for a Reason By Matt McCreadie Sports Editor Being politically informed is vital, especially in today’s economic, international and social state, but are we being blinded by the information that we choose to take in? Is the line between fact and fiction so dim that it is difficult to differentiate between the two? I think so. There are the obvious “news” satire shows, such as “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report,” that joke about politics and news. These shows do provide an entertaining news report, and they do get people who wouldn’t normally watch the news to become at least superficially informed; however, these programs can easily be misinterpreted as presenting pure fact in a humorous way. More worrying are other shows that may not be so blatantly opinion-based, selling opinion as fact. “The Glenn Beck Program” is one example. Often mistaken as a news telecast, this increasingly popular cable network show is actually self-proclaimed as a “fusion of entertainment and enlightenment.” And yet despite this self-proclaimation, the American public still falls for his use of peruasive images and faulty spins on current events. While Beck’s show is based around the political arena and his commentaries on the political game, it is simply not a news show. This misguided understanding endangers viewers of unknowingly being fed propaganda in the pursuit of factual programming. Even other less extremist shows, such as the “O’Reilly Factor,” “On the Record with Greta Van Sustren,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” or the “Rachel Maddow Show”, are often perceived as straightforward news when actually they are political/opinion based programs. There is nothing wrong with a broadcasted opinion as a point of reference. The only problem lies in the complacency of the viewer to let him or herself become too comfortable with hearing only one opinion. This occurs because it is human tendency to seek out other outlooks that validate our own. The only problem with this is the direct correlation between being informed by a single source and ignorance. You don’t check one source for a school research paper, why would you for your news? The crippling factor in this country’s news is the celebrity side. No longer is telling a story about the story itself, but rather about the person telling the story. Understandably, this is because the show is centered upon that particular commentator’s spin on a topic, but according to recent studies, these opinion shows grab more viewers than actual straightforward news programs. I worry that people forgo the time to create an informed opinion on important issues and instead allow a “professional” to make one for them. If you watch news programs on the BBC, you will notice that there are no celebrity political commentators but merely modest newsreaders. This takes the power out of the hands of the anchor, leaving it up to you to form an opinion. I am not saying that we should ban shows that present different opinions on political matters; that would go against freedom of speech. What I am suggesting is that we look more closely at the context of these opinions being expressed. Instead of making ourselves feel like we have everything figured out when we watch news shows, find a station that we disagree with and learn why we disagree. Only through pushing our boundaries can we be enlightened. Only through disagreeement can we find the truth. But if we never find those arguements, we will never dig ourselves out of the dire situations that our country faces today. A Standardized Test Actually Worth It Letters to the Editor By Gillian Slee & Taylor Steinbeck Sports Editor & Staff Writer The SAT, the ACT, the CAHSEE, the PSAT, the PLAN and the STAR testing--it’s nauseating to think about the seemingly endless number of tests that we, as students, are expected to take throughout the duration of our high school career. With each exam increasingly challenging and time-consuming, it’s no wonder that when students graduate and head to college, the desire to take another SAT-like, brain-bending stress producer is the last thing on their minds. There is one test, however, that might just have college students lining up at the door. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is an exam offered by the College Board that college undergraduates take by choice. Proficiency in certain subjects can enable them to skip entire classes and receive college credit. The CLEP test is capable of saving not only students’ money but also time spent in university classes. However, a main problem with the CLEP test is that most students are unaware of it, as it is hardly advertised. Obviously, colleges would rather have students spend their money to take classes, which could explain how the CLEP is not as well-known as it should be. With UC school tuition skyrocketing, parents and students are looking into private universities, where students can graduate on time and enjoy small class sizes. Thus, this makes the CLEP test even more valuable in these difficult economic times when students are struggling to find ways to navigate through college with a frugal mindset. Academic advisor Wanda Flynn agreed, stating, “[The CLEP test] is a possible cost saving advantage for students.” Students who are interested in taking the CLEP test can complete online study guides designed for the test and benefit from taking AP classes. If the college gives CLEP credit and a student would like to avoid taking some general education requirements, the CLEP could save thousands of dollars in tuition with a relatively small investment in studying. Flynn noted, “AP classes are the best way to prepare for college,” and that Dana classes train students to do well on the CLEP. With the price of college growing each year, the CLEP test might just be a $72 lifesaver to any student looking for a great deal. Blogs Are Still Self-Expression By Stephanie Cheng Opinion Editor Words are a form of expression. How we use them and how we share them are up to us, and, perhaps more importantly, the decision to share them with others is ours and ours alone. Blogs are the online outlets and displays of conscious self-expression. Bloggers post their thoughts and share news, sometimes for an audience and sometimes just for the sake of recording thoughts like a diary, albeit one that is more easily accessible to the public eye and less apt to be lost. If the first, then there are many online publications that seek to inform and entertain their readers. Most people read a selection of blogs on a regular basis, and there is a seemingly limitless range of blogs, from ones on news, to ones on fashion, to ones on technology, to interest a smiliarly varied range of readers. If the second, then it is reasonably understandable that blogs are a popular, easy way of posting and sharing dear-diary-style but in a more contemporary, tech-savvier manner. Everyone has ideas to share, and blogs, with several platforms like Tumblr, Blogspot, and WordPress, facilitate that. Teenagers seem to be more likely than most to create blogs to share their own musings and things of interest. We are, after all, the pensive individualists. As teenagers, we’re often branded with unflattering labels and traits; according to stereotype, we are angsty, over-emotional, rebellious, and, worst of all, apt to comment on all of the “injustices” of the world. We are accused of being less than pleasant individuals with a streak of hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and what’s worse is that we often confirm these accusations by blaming each other for being this way. Therefore, blogs are often justifiably viewed with contempt and bloggers judged with scornful, mocking derision, because they seem to bolster this disagreeable stereotype. Bloggers, as a whole, are not taken seriously. Of course, these accusations are not without some support. Not all blogs are of substance, are thought-provoking, or humorous. There are more than enough inane blogs that feature nothing but pretentious rants in an attempt to gain followers to rival the informative, entertaining ones. But I see no purpose in censuring the whole of blogging for the sake of thoughtless or arrogant posts. No one is asking you to read the ones that are bothersome, and if you’re masochistic enough to read things that upset you, then so be it. Your decision is, once again, yours alone--just remember that while you may decry blogs because of the unsavory ones in existence, you flatly denounce those of substance as well. n The Type of Music That We Should Be Reading About The Entertainment section of our newspaper is my favorite section to read. Why do students have to flip to the music section and only read about the latest updates from Lady Gaga, Timbaland, Britney Spears, and others? What ever happened to music that has good meaning and inspires people? Why don't we talk about Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana more? Her music only brings happy things into peoples’ minds. She uses no bad language and her lyrics just inspire people and give a very good message. Miley brings lots of star power in the world. Timbaland’s song “We Belong to the Music” only came out popular because Miley had a role in it. People only listen to songs like “Bad Romace,” “Replay,” and “I’m on a Boat.” The Newspaper staff seems to write only about those songs. Isn’t it better to listen to and write about songs like “The Climb,” “Dream,” “When I Look at You,” and “Party in the USA”? We just need to start writing about better music with more meaning and happy thoughts. -Layla Tamaddon, 11 n Freshmen Impede Halls We have all seen it-lower-classmen loitering in the halls right in the middle of the walkways. Anyone who is an experienced Dana Hills-ian knows there is a highway in these halls much like a freeway. For those of you who don’t (I’m not going to name people...freshmen), here is what you need to know. It is a two-way traffic lane. One side goes a certain direction, while the other side goes the opposite way. So if you deviate from this system, you will be run over and trampled upon. Love always, -Mike Brockington, 12 n Yay, Rain! Due to our Mediterranean climate, Orange County rarely gets any real weather other than rain. It’s a nice change of pace. Call me weird, but I like it. I’m not a beach person, but I rarely leave my house anyway, so that doesn’t matter. Should I be enjoying the wonderful weather that I get for living in California? Probably, but I am too lazy. However, when it rains I can relax and rejoice in the fact that I have a real excuse for not going outside. Being inside on a rainy day is cool, but rainy weather and going to school is something I have more of a problem with. There are a few things about rainy school days that bother me: the musky smell that floats around the classroom, the hundreds of puddles that scatter the school’s black top, especially by the pool, and my least favorite--the great waterfall that forms by the back ramp, which I always try to avoid. These minor annoyances are enough to make me yearn to be back home sitting on a couch, wearing my comfy pants, and watching Bear Grylls almost get hit by a train. These complaints are small and do not really amount to anything. All in all, I welcome the rainy weather and whatever else it brings with it. Tornadoes, perhaps? - Alan Reeve, 11 LETTERS POLICY Please submit legibly written, signed letters to room 708 during second, fourth, and fifth period to Mrs. Gilbert’s mailbox in the office, or to email@example.com. The staff reserves the right to delete or condense letters to meet space requirements or content restrictions. Unsigned letters will not be accepted. PAGE 14 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL ENTERTAINMENT Best 300 Million Dollars Ever Spent By Pia Bhathal Editor-in-Chief A $300 million budget, 12 years and state-of-the-art technology has definitely paid off for director James Cameron, as his newest motion picture, “Avatar,” has become the second-highest grossing film worldwide. Continuing to sell out in Imax 3D weeks after its release, the film is well on its way to become the highest grossing motion picture in history, surpassing Cameron’s “Titanic.” The appropriate word to describe “Avatar” is an experience. An experience that fully absorbs audiences for nearly three hours, taking them on an out-of-body journey to a new planet, Pandora. Pandora is inhabited by the Na’vi, a race strongly connected with the spirits of the natural world, who worship a goddess known as Eywa. War veteran Jake Sulley signs onto a mission to mine for a reserve of the valuable mineral unobtanium. With an ‘avatar’ identity, Jake is ordered to learn about the Na’vi and their culture in an attempt to persuade them to relocate to a different region on Pandora. However, when Jake falls in love with a Na’vi named Neytiri, he bonds with the tribe and begins to appreciate the natural world they live in. When the Na’vi refuse to give up their home and an adamant Colonel threatens to destroy Pandora’s natural beauty, Jake is forced to choose a side in an epic war. Although “Avatar” presents the common scenario of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, it effectively addresses concerns that our world is dealing with today – corporate prominence and environmental chaos. The motion picture resonates with today’s generation, forcing us to take a hard look at our actions and how they affect the rest of the world. The simple storyline, which does not become apparent until long after leaving the theater, frankly does not matter in comparison to what truly makes the film impressive – technical innovation and execution. In Imax 3D, Pandora fully comes to life right in front of your eyes. Its lush landscape and vivid colors engulf the screen, as special effects are taken to an entirely new level. The technology used in “Avatar” is definitely cuttingedge and raises the bar for future action adventure films. “Avatar” is a perfect display of imaginative filmmaking, which has finally arrived on the big screen following several years of absence, surely making it one of the best films of the year. Receiving well deserved accolades, “Avatar” picked up Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Film on Sun. Jan. 17. photo courtesy of Google Images With the determination of a true warrior, Jake Sully prepares to take down a flying beast in his Avatar body. It is nominated for multiple Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards. My recommendation: If After escaping the clutches of death, Tony and Valentina work together to discover his true identity. Imaginarium of Mediocrity By Marilyn La Jeunesse Feature Editor What do colossal jellyfish, meditating monks and the midget from “Austin Powers” all have in common? Absolutely nothing, except the fact that they all make an appearance in the overly imaginative, mindboggling movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” This film is unusual and original in both plot and casting. The late Heath Ledger is the star of the movie. When Ledger’s untimely death occurred in early 2008, director Terry Gilliam cast Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to take turns portraying Ledger’s character, Tony. In any other movie, the death of the main star would sabotage the entire plot. Instead, Gilliam cleverly allows Tony to step through the magic mirror and enter the imagination of Doctor Parnassus. Once in the dream realm, Tony would physically transform into Depp, Law and eventually Farrell. The film is incredibly unique, because it is all about imagination and the decisions that people make in life. In the movie, the incredible Doctor Parnassus makes a deal with the devil to receive immortality and youth in exchange for his first-born child when the child turns 16. Parnassus is the leader of a traveling theatre troupe struggling on the streets of London to make ends meet in modern times. Meanwhile, the conniving Mr. Nick, the Devil in disguise, comes to collect Parnassus’ child, who is fastapproaching 16. Though the movie is both thrilling and enchanting, the acting is somewhat mediocre. Additionally, this is not a movie that one would view to relax; you have to follow the movie very carefully to keep up with everything that is happening. Without having known why Ledger’s character changes his appearance once he passes through the portal, one would be utterly confused. The movie itself is a bit quirky and out-of-this-world; it felt almost as though the entire movie was created as a psychedelic visual piece instead of an actual film with a working plot. It is highly recommended for all those who were fans of the movie “Across the Universe,” except this movie doesn’t include any teenagers singing horrible renditions of Beatles’ classics. “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is instead filled with ironic symbolism and ingeniously hidden satire. I do feel the need to point out that Ledger’s untimely death is ironic, because when we are first introduced to his character, Tony is found hanging by a rope underneath a bridge. Although this fact may be upsetting to some, it was not not foreshadowing to Ledger’s fate and not intended to poke fun at the actor’s death. Altogether, the movie was a vast change from all the predictable love stories, chilling horror movies and masculine action flicks. It is an artistic oddity that takes your imagination to the limits as well as touches on a moral basis. Ledger’s farewell performance will not be as famous as his role in “The Dark Night,” but it is one to remember. The film is dedicated to Ledger. The movie is not an award winner, but it’s still an entertaining journey if you aren’t expecting too much. Keep in mind what the doctor himself said as you venture into the land unknown: “don’t worry if you don’t get it all at once.” haven’t seen it in Imax 3D, spend the extra money for the full cinematic experience. It’s worth it. Obviously, the material in Lovely Bones is much heavier than the average movie, and such weight can often come off as cheesy when not handled artfully. While I will concede to the fact that some scenes are as corny as a Pilgrim Thanksgiving, I feel that director Peter Jackson skillfully and carefully orchestrated the horrific proceedings. The acting was certainly the neon yellow highlight of the film, with big-name actors filling almost all of the roles. Ronan’s heart wrenching portrayal of Susie will break your heart, and Stanley Tucci’s unsettling, Academy Award nominated performance as the killer will harden you and have you crossing your fingers for revenge. While not usually instrumental in the critical success of the film, the visual effects were cited by many reviewers as one of the major downfalls of the film. Jackson was left with the extremely difficult and sensitive task of visually interpreting Susie’s spirit world and the heavens beyond, and apparently critics were considerably displeased. I have to agree that certain segments were excessive – I really don’t think that Sebold would have seen her literary inventions as so psychedelic and, at times, jovial. But I respect many of Jackson’s artistic decisions, especially considering the task he was given. Overall, the movie is a heavy load for viewers, but there is a dim light at the end of this dark and dreary tunnel. If you don’t go expecting a diamond, you might just find a piece of gold. Beautifully Chilling, But Far from Lovely By Devin Valenciano Entertainment Editor photo courtesy of Google Images you have yet to see “Avatar,” don’t wait for it to release on DVD, and make sure to catch it while in theatres. And if you Once in a rare while, I drag myself to the movie theater to see a film plagued with less than stellar reviews. Typically, I’ll leave with the bitter taste of wasted money in my mouth, marveling at the mediocrity that somehow ended up on the big screen. But if you sift through enough dirt, eventually you’ll find a sizeable chunk of gold as a reward for your patient perseverance. In Lovely Bones, critics saw an excessive, overly dramatic interpretation of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel that strayed too far from the original plot; in Lovely Bones, I saw a beautifully chilling, wonderfully thrilling story of life, death and everything that comes afterwards. In the first lines of the movie, narrator Susie Salmon, portrayed by Academy Award nominated Saoirse Ronan, solemnly informs her audience of her murder. Such an open introduction shocks the audience into attention and turns the exposition into a 20 minute wait for the inevitable horrors that befall the adorably innocent youth. It is then that the realization sets in – this story tells not of life with Susie but of life without her. Susie is unable to proceed to heaven with her killer left undiscovered, so she watches the earthly happenings from a spiritual middle ground. Her family is left devastated by the loss, but the father, played by Mark Wahlberg, is particularly destroyed by the death of his child. Life without Susie becomes nothing but a tireless endeavor to discover the identity of his daughter’s murderer. photo courtesy of Google Images Acting on the whims of her innocent curiosity and youth, Susie Salmon falls into the trap of her ruthless killer. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL ENTERTAINMENT PAGE 15 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 Rihanna Album Fails to Meet Expectations By Claudia Varney Staff Writer With her bold declaration that “the wait is ova,” the aesthetically flawless Rihanna released “Rated R,” her fourth studio album, on Nov. 23. The album, which she began to work on following her February assault by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, is viewed by many as her long-awaited reaction to said incident. “Rated R” was Rihanna’s highest selling U.S. debut, hitting number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart and selling 181,000 copies in just its first week. On Dec. 5, it became the number one album on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-hop Chart. In her new album, an angrier, more mature and darker Rihanna emerges with a whole new sound, distancing herself from her now retired colorful image and upbeat persona. She opens her album with uncharacteristic theatrical flair by including the brief Halloween-esque “Mad House,” which is more like a curtain opener than a song. She then powers into her album with “Wait Your Turn,” a pounding, defiant but repetitive opener. Her new militaristic hit, simply entitled “Hard,” features Young Jeezy and reveals an increasingly defiant Rihanna. The song is one of the few strong moments on the album, a sparkling diamond surrounded by blah album fillers. “Stupid in Love,” while simple, meaningful and easy to relate to, is ruined by Rihanna’s nasally and borderline whiny voice and would be better off without the tacky and mechanical bells and whistles. She collaborates with various heavyweights in the music industry, including Slash in “Rockstar 101” and with will. i.am. in “Photographs,” only to result in two boring, tuneless let-downs. “Rockstar 101” is an annoying album filler, and “Photographs” is nothing but a cutesy and boring let down. In the stunning ballad “Russian Roulette”she exhibits some of the feelings that she and other abuse victims sharethat love is a game, one that they choose to play. The song sets the listener on edge with a rhythm not dissimilar to the beating of a heart. Rihanna goes back to her roots with the seductively mocking “Rude Boi” and the haunting “Te Amo.” Her empowering “Fire Bomb” stays with you long after the powerful chorus comes to an end. Despite how predictable it seems to be at first blush, it is one of the few lovable songs on her album. In her extremely uncharacteristic song “G4L,” Rihanna says things you’d never expect, in an almost ironic attempt to either conform more to her genre, or appear more wordly and experienced than she is. She opens the song by purring about the degree to which she relishes the feeling of revenge. Rihanna finishes with two regretful and emotionally complex songs, “Cold Case Love,” and “The Last Song.” Throughout “Rated R,” Rihanna embodies a darker and increasingly empowered woman, far more dimensional and emotionally complex than her retired persona. Her widely awaited album fails to live up to the high expectations of her fans. Hidden amongst the potential hits, complete album fillers and boring letdowns, there are memorable ballads like “Hard” and “Russian Roulette” that prevent “Rated R” from being anything photo courtesy of Google Images near a complete failure. Rihanna is trying too hard to transform herself from a bubbly, colorful and fun-loving model-turned-singer into an edgier, darker and more angsty adult version of herself. Her attempt to alter her image, however, falls short of success. Rihanna’s new sound is an exciting development, but her inability to follow through with her new album is a disappointment to say the least. Winter Comedy: “Museum” By Sara Gold Copy Editor photo by Emily Roulund Portraying the strict Museum Guard, senior Jeremy Knappe attempts to discipline seniors Jenifer Gross, Julie Wickstrom, and Alissa Wilsey in SOCSA’s production of “Museum.” SOCSA Actor’s Repertory students presented their winter comedy, “Museum,” in the Porthole Theater on Jan. 14-16. The two-act play follows the hilarious episodes of the museum’s visitors under the watchful eye of the Museum Guard. Senior Jeremy Knappe brought vibrant expression and personality to the role of the vigilant guard. He skillfully delivered the humor inherent in the dialogue with animated facial and body gestures. Knappe’s heightening exasperation in response to the museum’s increasing bedlam added to the comedic entertainment of the performance. Junior Alex Sloan and senior Natalie Testa wittily portrayed a feisty French cou- ple. Conversing only in French, these two characters used effective tonal inflections and physical movements to convey the humorous meaning of their dialogue. The well-acted subplots performed by each cast member contributed to the intended effect of hysterical chaos. It was clear that each actor had thoroughly rehearsed the blocking of his/her role, as every character onstage was engaged in constant action. Throughout the play, the actors’ visible reactions to the happenings onstage added to the overall funniness of the scenarios. To go along with the theme of the museum’s setting, digital photo, ceramics and film/photography students displayed their artwork outside the Porthole. Pieces ranged from painted canvases and ceramic footprints to black and white snapshots of nature. In addition to this impressive gallery, student-produced art was also displayed on the stage itself. Senior Kira Olson created a feathered museum art piece that was truly a marvel to look at, and seniors Brittny Witherspoon and Ashley Dillabough painted the back canvases in bright, pastel colors. Before the show, audience members were invited into the “museum” onstage to view these fascinating creations among others. During this time, an exceptionally talented quartet - junior Jonathan Nagano and seniors Sloan Hill-Lindsay, Katie Perkins and Meagan Vigus - performed instrumental selections. The entire collaboration was made possible by the involvement of about a hundred dedicated actors, crew members, and artists. “Museum” was a truly commendable integration of both the performing and visual artistic mediums, showcasing the diverse talents of SOCSA students. “Contra” Album Pleases Vampire Weekend Fans By Gina Scott Feature Editor “In December drinking horchata; I’d look psychotic in a balaclava; winter’s cold is too much to handle; pincher crabs that pinch at your sandals.” This refrain from Vampire Weekend’s single, “Horchata,” sums up the feel of the band’s sophomore album, “Contra.” After sampling this album you will want to just lie on the beach with a glass of Horchata and relax. Band members Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Botmaglij and Chris Tomson have once again created a group of original songs in their fresh, breezy, indie-rock style. Frontman Koenig said that one of the central themes of the album surrounded the band’s rise to fame and people’s perceptions of them. The title, “Contra,” refers to both the computer game of the same name and the Ni- caraguan rebel groups of the 1980s. Many were concerned that these indie pretty boys would not be able to repeat the success that they had on their self-titled first album, released in 2008, but they have indeed succeeded. Practically every song is beautifully complex and just the perfect level of awkward. They are also more deep and moving than in their earlier singles. Despite this, the melodies are less catchy than the likes of “A-Punk” and “Oxford Comma.” “One of the goals for this record was to use vocals as a texture, as an instrument,” stated Botmaglij. On this album, they certainly experimented with a boatload of unique instruments, including a kalimba, marimba , xylophones and synths; one song, “California English,” even contained Auto-Tune. One of Vampire Weeked’s only ballads, “Taxi Cab,” was refreshingly romantic and sweet. The first Vampire Weekend song with acoustic guitar is “I Think You’re a Contra.” Somber and dark, it stands out from the crowd with its depressing lyrics. “Never pick sides, never choose between two, but I just wanted you...but I just wanted you,” is a deeply romantic line from this song. The first two singles from the album, “Cousins” and “Horchata,” are textbook Vampire Weekend songs that old fans are sure to love. My personal favorite song, “Holiday,” is upbeat and peppy, returning to the sound of their first album. Nearly every song on the album is completely different. Some are African-inspired, some ska, and folk and electronica, which creates an extremely intriguing album. Vampire Weekend may not be for everyone. The quirky arrangements and sometimes odd and nonsensical lyrics, like in “California English,” where the words are almost indiscernible, may turn some people off. photo courtesy of Google Images Reveling in the success of their new album, “Contra,” the four members of Vampire Weekend pose together. Overall the album is not extremely accessible, and most of the choruses do not become ingrained into your mind like the immensley popular and infectious “A-Punk.” The more often you listen to the album, the more appealing it becomes, so if you don’t like it the first time, give it a second try. Those college student, indie-types who originally embraced Vampire Weekend will undeniably enjoy the band’s sophomore effort. These preppy, New York City natives, with their alter- native and Afro-pop-inspired melodies, should be proud of this fun and whimsical second album. But if you are open to experimenting with the new, eclectic and different, then open up your arms to Vampire Weekend. PAGE 16 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 SPORTS THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL Soccer Builds and Conquers By Matt McCreadie Sports Editor Boys Last time we checked in, the boys kicking that black and white ball around were not doing so well. They were still building and growing together. Several weeks and many games later, they continue to construct their team dynamic. The boys played Mission on Jan. 20, Aliso on Jan. 15, and Capo on Jan. 13. The results were not what they would have preferred losing 20, 3-0, and 3-1 respectively. But as the great Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “it is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.” San Clemente, who the boys played Jan. 8, has a very strong program. One of their players is even on the national team. “They’re just better than us,” confessed junior Michael Paul. While they fought hard, constantly but unsuccessfully trying to grasp possession of the ball, our dolphins suffered a loss of 3-1. But the boys finished the preseason on a high note. They stomped San Juan Hills in a devastating 4-0 victory. This win is a prime example of what this team can be when the chemistry is there. They played and passed beautifully with precise execution of their goals. The San Juan Stallions did not look so majestic fumbling up and down the field getting crossed up by our mighty Dolphins. And this was after a, plainly, sad winter break, making the turn around that much greater. During winter break, the boys collected five losses none of which counted as league competition. Despite this, the team is “playing really well, actually,” said Michael Paul. “We’re just in a really tough league.” And this is true. The boys are coming together. The situation is similar to the slander our beloved football team recieved in years past before we started winning. Our perception is skewed by virtue of comparison, so the numbers do not tell the whole story. As a "young team," as Coach Compeon describes the boys, their skills will become evident in the years to come. Girls The chicks with kicks have found their stride, winning most of their games during the past few weeks. The girls are taking this momentum into the regular season. Their most recent games against Tesoro and Mission were both cancelled due to unplayable weather. Aliso Niguel on Jan. 14 was a rivetting 0-0 tie. The girls had numerous shots to score, only barely missing each shot. The girls beat Capo in a nail-biting 1-0 win on Jan. 12. It was Taylor Crugnale who came through with the game-winning shot in the first half. Against San Clemente, the first league game, the dolphins lost 4-2 in an exciting back and forth battle of strength and camaraderie. The girls never lost their tempo and mentally kept their composure, something this team self-confessedly needed for the success of this season. It was this togetherness that led to future victories and a foreshadowing of the season to come. Over winter break, the girls did exceptionally well, finishing 4th out of 32 teams in the coveted Excalibur tournament. While they tied all five games, they ended up winning the first three and losing the last two in overtime shoot outs. They are now ranked 3rd in the running for CIF, so as long as they continue the level of performance they have been producing in recent games, it appears that the girls are all for the win. Taking possession of the ball, Shahriar Shojaei breaks away from Aliso defense. photos by Emily Cullen photos by Emily Cullen Stepping it up a notch, girls soccer collects its team composure before a game. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PAGE 17 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 Wrestling 2-1 in League, Take First at Tournament By Jake Rosen Sports Editor The team was involved in a heated battle with Tesoro before the results were released. The team annihilated Aliso Niguel 42-21 at their lastest league meet on Jan. 14. “The upper weights really stepped it up, especially Cole Altuzarra and Jordan Mcnaughton,” stated senior Ryder White. The team took first place over all at the Estancia High School NewYear’s Classic, with senior Seena Foroutan (103 pounds), senior Shane Savalle (145 pounds), junior Austin DeVone (160 pounds), and junior Kamron Abedi (189 pounds) all taking first place. “11 out of the 14 kids went to the semifinals and it was the first time we took home a trophy in five years. I was afraid I wasn’t going to do well because I only got four hours of sleep and I had a cold. It was the weakest I had wrestled,” commented DeVone. The Dana Hills-San Clemente South Coast League rivalry came to a depressing conclusion on Jan. 7, when Dana lost 39-24. photo by Emily Roulund Pulling a chicken-wing maneuver, senior Seena Foroutan moves closer to winning his match. The team was under the false impression that there was a two-pound allowance. This lead to the majority of the team having to go up a weight class. “If it had been a fair match we would have smacked on them hard,” stated DeVone. Despite this, the dual was extremely close for the first 11 of the 14 matches. DeVone’s third round pin in the 160-pound weight class gave the lead and some much needed morale, and Abedi’s epic 2-1 win in the 215-weight class is also of note, considering he was outmatched by at least six inches and 20 pounds. The turning point in the dual came when the boys lost the 103-weight class by default. Senior Seena Foroutan continued to win his 112-pound match, but the team lost all three matches after that. “Despite the loss, the team did exceptionally well,” commented team captain Foroutan. The team won their first dual of the season 37-30 against Capistrano Valley. The middle weights really succeeded, with wins by junior Brian Seefried, Savalle, DeVone, and Altuzarra. Sophomore Keith Messinger came through with a massive win in the 152-pound weight class. The match was photo by Emily Roulund Exerting his dominance, junior Austin DeVone double legs his San Clemente opponent. tied 5-5 in the third period, until a two point reversal in the very last second. “We didn’t have our “A” line up but we still did really well,” said Foroutan. “I enjoy the team camaraderie, it’s pushing the team to extreme limits. “Our team has been working hard,” stated senior Glenn Cooper, “and we wanted to come out and set the tone for the season.” There are only two more league matches left in the season, along with league finals on Feb. 6. Starting next season, wrestling will form the new Sea View League, along with Tesoro, San Juan Hills, Aliso Niguel, and El Toro. San Clemente, Capistrano Valley, and Mission Viejo will form the Pacific Coast League. PAGE 18 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 SPORTS photo by Emily Roulund Racing for position, junior Dani Styles keeps her defender on her back as she pushes the ball forward in an effort to get it in the cage. THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL photo by Emily Roulund Keeping the ball out of her opponent’s reach, sophomore Allison Leibold lunges forward in order to make a pass to her teammate. Girls Water Polo Enters the Final Stretch Confident By Claudia Varney Staff Writer With a current win-loss record of 14-6, the lady Dolphins are entering the final stretch of a promising season. After losing a lot of talented seniors, the notably younger team is making it clear that they are still a force to be reckoned with. They’ve won one out of three South Coast League games, with two games remaining. Yesterday the lady Dolphins played in a League match against Capistrano Valley, but the results of the game were not ready by press time. The girls lost 4-12 to league rivals San Clemente on Jan. 14. The home game was 12-0 until the fourth quarter, when the lady Dolphins bounced back to score four goals and prevent San Clemente from scoring again. Junior Colleen McNaught scored two goals in the game, giving her a total of 79 goals for the season so far. After the game, she remarked, “This game showed us what we need to work on so that when the South Coast League Tournament comes around we’ll be ready for round two against San Clemente.” On Jan. 8 the lady Dolphins went head to head against Beckman in another home game. Throughout the game, they easily dominated the competition, scoring a whopping nine goals in the fourth quarter alone and ending with a 20-6 win. McNaught scored an impressive ten goals, and sophomore Emily Carlson made five steals. Junior Gina Zatica remarked, “Games like this make us feel like we are invincible. We went out there pumped and shut them down within the second quarter.” The girls played Tesoro in their first league match on Jan. 7. The hard-fought home game ended with a 12-10 win. Junior Dani Styles and Carlson contributed to the onslaught with four goals each. Senior Jessie Ashton described the game by saying, “It was a really good game for us as a team. We were able to work together even after the loss of two of our best players. Everybody really stepped up!” The Ladies played against Edison on Dec. 17, just before the start of winter break. After Edison got an early lead in the first quarter, the lady Dolphins lost 5-13. McNaught made four of the five goals scored against Edison. McNaught and Carlson had three steals each. “We tried our hardest and were on the defensive for most of the game,” said Zatica, who added, “it was good practice.” The girls have shown marked improvement and growing enthusiasm as each week progresses. Their new head coach for this season, Ryan Mock, described coaching by saying, “It’s been a pleasure so far. It’s been a lot of fun.” Mock continued, “So far this season, the Varsity squad has been playing well beyond expectations and have shown a true passion for the sport.” For their next game, the lady Dolphins will be playing Huntington Beach at home on Jan. 25, with their next league game on Jan. 28 against Aliso Niguel. Mock was optimistic about the future, saying, “We should be finishing as a CIF caliber team.” THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PAGE 19 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 Girls’ Basketball Undefeated in League By Stephanie Cheng Opinion Editor The Dolphins have performed spectacularly, picking up from the steady surge of momentum from their first games of the season. They have emerged undefeated after the first four league games of the season, most notably defeating historic rivals San Clemente and Capistrano Valley. Last night, on Jan. 21, the girls played against the Tesoro Titans. Results were unavailable at press time. The girls defeated Mission Viejo by a 23-point margin in their fourth league game, winning 55-32. With an early lead of 16-9 in the first quarter, the girls maintained the advantage for the rest of the game. Junior Haley Nordbak scored an impressive 18 points, and senior Lauren Shute scored 15 points in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds. Winning 48-37, the Dolphins competed against Aliso Niguel on Jan. 15. The girls again gained an early advantage and retained it for the remainder of the game, with junior Katherine Chastain and Shute scoring 12 points each, junior Kristi Nishihira scoring a three-pointer just before the end of the third quarter, and junior Olivia Winokur grabbing 14 rebounds. photo by Emily Cullen Battling against the opposition’s defense, Lauren Shute shoots over the head of her opponent while Olivia Winokur waits for the rebound. With an impressive save by Winokur, the Dolphins defeated Capistrano Valley 5447 on Jan. 12, beating out the Cougars for first place in league. Shute and Nordbak scored 12 and 10 points in the game, respectively. Winokur earned six of her 14 total points in the remaining seconds of the game and helped pull the Dolphins to a victory. The girls played remarkably in the league opener against the San Clemente Tritons. San Clemente, which has remained undefeated in league since 1998, was beaten 57-49 on Jan. 7. Dana Hills last defeated San Clemente in 1991. Coach Taryn Commins returned to her former high school and led the girls to victory against her former coach. Shute scored 18 points, all in the third and fourth quarters, and grabbed nine rebounds; Nishihira scored a three-pointer. Nordback commented, “We were all really excited for it, because it was our new coach’s alma mater…when the time finally came to play, we were all really anxious. She continued, “We knew that we could beat them, so we just went out and played as a team. It was neck and neck for most of the game. In the fourth quarter, we started to kick up the gear a little more.” “San Clemente and Capo were our two biggest challenges, and we were about to go to photo by Emily Cullen Sprinting towards the basket, Kristi Nishihira leaves her defender in the dust and prepares to take a shot against the Wolverines on Jan. 15. their home courts and pull out two great victories to start off league in first place,” Winokur said. “[We’re] super excited for things to come. We’ve been working well as a team and have had a ton of fun,” Nordbak added. Off to a thoroughly strong start in league, the girls hope to retain their title and finish their season as amazingly as it began. PAGE 20 FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 Jeremy Bass THE PAPER DANA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS Ray Getz Brendan Hill Kyle Johnson Nick Kaspar photos by Emily Roulund Dylan McDaniel Boys Start League Strong, Enter O.C. Top 10 By Tyler Hartung Sports Editor Continuing upon their early season success, the boys’ basketball team has made it known that they are a force to be reckoned with in the notoriously tough South Coast League. “We play really hard,” said senior Brendan Hill. “We play well as a team and we have intensity. We’re all on the same page.” On league play beginning, Hill commented, “[League] is a lot different from pre-season games. The crowds are louder and we know that every game counts.” “Every game is a rivarly,” senior Ray Getz added. “We want to win league again, so we go all out.” The team’s most recent game was on Jan. 20 against Mission Viejo, a clash of two undefeated teams. “Mission’s team has been together a long time, so they play really well together,” Getz commented. The game started out pretty close, but Mission pulled away by nine points in the second quarter. However, The Dolphins put together a surge, and were able to tie the score at 31 by halftime. However, Mission’s defense was successfully able to keep Hill from driving into the lane and finding open teammates. Despite Getz’s 20 point effort, the Dolphins lost by a score of 67-52. Previously, the team faced Aliso Niguel, a team that has improved greatly since last season. There was a high level of intensity throughout the game, as the Dana gym was thundering with support from both crowds. Both teams played well, and the game remained close until the end, when the Dolphins pulled away at the end and won 51-45. Their second league game was against Capo Val- ley, one of the top teams in the South Coast League as well as Orange County. Both teams seemed evenly matched early, with the first and second quarters ending with the Dolphins being down by only two points. Getz commented, “We didn’t get down and kept our heads in the game.” The Dolphins had a strong third quarter coming out of the locker room, and watched as they went from being down by one to being ahead of the Cougars by four. “Capo is one of the toughest teams we’ve played,” Hill stated. “We know they’re going to be some of our closest competition.” Although the game ended closely, the boys were able to hold on to the victory, winning 47-45 over their South Coast rival. Getz and senior Nick Kaspar led the team with 14 points apiece. The previous Friday the Dolphins began league play at San Clemente with the expectations of last year’s league title on their shoulders. “We have the talent to repeat and I know we can do it again,” Hill commented. “We just need to play even harder than last year to do it.” The Tritons threw a tough zone defense at the team, which held Dana’s offense stagnant at first. However, due to the ball-handling skills of point guard Hill, they were able to take over. “Ray was able to hit some shots to open it up, and we got some big play from Nick [Kaspar] and Kyle [Johnson]. So we were able to break through and score some points,” Hill said about breaking the defense. The strong play continued for most of the game, and the Tritons were never able to come back, finishing with a final score of 51-46. “We had a slow start but we were able to fight through their defense and finally score some points,” Getz said. The team heads into their next game tonight against Tesoro at home.