Issue 2, 2010
Volume 46, Issue 2, October 26, 2010
ASB President steps down by dianaDING & saumyaKUMAR In the race ofASB, the baton was passed two weeks ago,asASBPresidentKevinChuangsteppeddownand ASB Vice President Sebastian Liu took his place as the newASBpresidentfortherestofthesemesterandschool year. After much consideration and discussion, Chuang has decided not to return to his position second semester due to personal reasons. ChuangreleasedapublicstatementonWednesdayregardinghisresignationfromoffice.Itisasfollows: "Dear Lynbrook Vikings, After giving it much thought and talking to a multitude of people, I have decided that I will not be coming back as yourASBPresidentforthesecondsemester.Ihopeallof youcansupportSebastianasyouhavewithme.Thebest is yet to come!" LiuwillnowtakeonfullresponsibilityofASBandthe Leadershipclass."IamsupportingKevininhisdecision andIhopethatthistimeoffwillbebeneficialtohim,"says Liu, "The decision is his, and I am doing my best to step in to support him as vice president." As for the remainder of the school year, Liu has some slight changes that he wishes to make with the goals of see ASB pg 3 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS? PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NEWS SECTION Track and fields renovation delayed by EIR and concerns from a community activist group, LMU a comment period from July to Sept. 2010. The report received comments from 33 people. FUHSDSuperintendentPollyBovesaysthatitisconsiderablydifficulttoprocesssuchalargevolumeofcom ments,someofwhicharemorecomplexthanothers.Regardless, she says, "We are working hard to make sure we respond and do what is legally responsible to respond to those comments." Not all of the community, however, is pleased with the possible impact of the new construction. An activist group made up of concerned residents from the Lynbrook and Monta Vista communities (where renovations are also scheduled to take place) called Lynbrook-Monta Vista United (LMU), submitted many of the concerned commentsseenintheDEIR.BobWhite,oneoftheresidents who helped establish the group, says that LMU is "not against the school, but we certainly want to make sure that the community as a whole is included." by teresaLIU & candyCHANG In June 2009, Principal Gail Davidson was playing with papercutouts.Importantcutouts,ofthetrackandfields. After hearing community complaints about the orientation ofthefieldsthatwereplannedtobeginconstructiondur ing the summer 2010, Davidson realized the necessity of responding to their concerns and promptly began creating a new design. Now,itisfirstsemesterofthe2010-2011schoolyear and the fields have not changed. Since Davidson's new design, which was approved later that summer of 2009, eventshavedelayedtheapprovalofthefields,namelythe Environmental Impact Report (EIR), as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR makesobservationsonpotentialimpactsandpossiblemitigation measures of a proposed project. Lynbrook has just finished the Draft EIR, which had LMUismostconcernedwiththe80-feettallstadium lights--evening games typically translate to additional noise,trafficandlightimpactontheprivacyofneighbor ing homes. Although the lights have minimal spill, the streets adjacent to the football field, such as Oak Park Drive,wouldstillbesignificantlyaffected. IntheDEIR,however,theoverallimpactontheneighboringcommunityofthetracksandfieldsrenovationwith some limits on the times and number of days the lights can beusedis"lessthansignificant."AssistantSuperintendent GlennEvansclarifiesthat"CEQAdoesn'tsayyoucan't have the environmental impact; it just says that you have tomakeaninformeddecisionandmakeadefensible,justifiable decision with the knowledge of what the impact [is], if any." In addition, the LMU is concerned that if the lights are see LIGHTS pg 2 All aboard the Viking Boat by danielleLERNER & brianZHAO ConcealedundertheconcretebaseofourVikingBoatliesarelicof Lynbrook'spast,a40-year-oldtimecapsule,buriedbytheclassof1970. Thiscomingsummer,whenconstructionbegins,theclassof'70plansto uncoverthisimportantpieceofVikinghistoryforthefirsttime. TheVikingBoatthatresidesoutsidetheCovewas originally built by students from the class of 1970asagifttotheschool.Last year,NationalHonorSociety(NHS)proposednot only retrieving the time capsule, but also building a new boat, as a large crack had formed down its middle. "It was becoming unsafe, so it was going to be demolished anyway," said Steve Chamberlain,Lynbrook'sfacilitiesmanager. NHS then contacted architect Scott McCurry, who offered to provide his services for free in a joint effort project along with the school board, the district, andthePTSA. ThePTSAhasallocated $4,000dollarsfromitsown funds to the project, and has raised $2,612 so far this year through parent donations to fund the demolition and installation of water pipes near the new monument. Chamberlain estimates that the cost of the process will be between $20,000 and $25,000. PrincipalGailDavidsonsayssheandNHSbeganexploring ideas for the new viking boat last spring. The concept was to create a monument that still incorporated the plaques in a place where students could hang out, and at the same time be much more spacious. Davidson explains, "We wanted something classy, but also something that would stand the test of time and continue to be a place where students can gather." ReinforcingDavidson'swordsis1970LynbrookalumnusPatKruse.Speaking on behalf of her classmates, she says, that they "absolutely agree with the decision to rebuild. [The Viking Boat] has become a primary meeting place for students and also speaks to our Viking roots." At their class reunion on Oct.9,thealumnisoliciteddonations from their classmates to fund the project, which they have dubbed the "SaveOurShip"campaign. Their ideas, as well as the money raised will be presented at the PTSA meeting on Nov. 9. While they stand behind the decision to rebuild the beloved Viking Boat, the class of 1970 feels they have made a positive impact and will not be forgotten. Kruse explains, "We made this boat as a symbol of our time in highschool.Otherclasses followed suit by adding their own plaque � incredible in that these classes were also acknowledging the symbolism and significanceoftheirtimeatLHS.Theboat is placed in such a prominent location as one enters the campus that we are sure it holds USED WITH PERMISSION OF SCOTT MCCURY quiteaspecialplaceinmanypeople'shearts.We wantedtoleaveour`mark'andhavesomethingthatdeThis bird's eye view of Lynpicted our legacy." brook's new viking boat design. The alumni plan to uncover their time capsule this summer at Construction is set to start next theconstructiongroundbreakingwiththehelpofthePTSAandthe summer. LynbrookASB. LIGHTS|Opposition postpones construction continued from pg 1 approved and implemented, the community will no longer beabletogivetheirinputonextracurricularorout-of-district-teams field usage. Davidson responds by clarifying thatcommunityactivitiesrelatedtothenewfieldswillbe clearlydrawnoutaftertheEIRispassed.Forschool-relatedactivities,stadiumlightsonthefootballfieldwould beinuse6daysaweekuntil9p.m.,withtheexceptionof footballgames,whichwouldlastuntil10:30pm. MarchingBand,whichwouldbenefitfromthestadium lights,hasalwayspracticedatCupertinoHighSchoolon Satrudayseveningswithlights. BandteacherJohnFelderexplains,"Thecommunityat Cupertino has to deal with two marching band rehearsals andatleasttwogameseveryweek--that'sfivenightsof sound and light a week." LMU believes that a middle ground could be achieved byinstallinglower-levellightsthatequallyfacilitatepractice.SinceCupertinoiscurrentlyintheprocessofrenovatingtheirfields,thebandhasrehearsalsatLynbrookon Monday andWednesday nights, with district-rented four portable light standards. However, Davidson says that theselower-levellightshaveanincreasedspillandwould notbeassafeforlate-nightfootballgames. Instead of spending funds on lights, LMU wants to considerimprovingsomeoftheFUHSD'sunfundedprojects, such as building new classrooms and installing increased firedetectiontechnology,topreventarepeatofthearson atTraceElementarySchoolthissummer. MeasureBbondmoneyisallocatedbasedonadistrictwide master plan outlining the immediate and longer range needs at all district schools. It includes funds for increased campus security, and the improved multi-use tracks and fieldsareapriorityandpartofthestatedimprovementsthe community voted for when they passed the bond. Davidson emphasizes that a status quo of consistency does not apply here because "the situation has certainly changed." 40 years ago, Lynbrook was a "much smaller school. There were no competitive sports for girls in 1965.The total number of sports and athletes has greatly increased in thelast40years,"saysDavidson. Regardingthechanges,PTSAPresidentDeborahWard adds,"LynbrookHighSchoolisaveryimportantpartof thiscommunity;ourhousepricesreflecttheexcellenceof the school and updating the amenities is necessary to keep us competitive with the other schools in the area." She also echoed a sentiment shared by many of the community membersattheSept.23Lynbrooktrackandfieldmeeting meeting that she "would like to see [the stadium lights] completed as soon as possible." In the meantime, LMU is waiting for replies from EIR, keeping the Murdock Neighborhood Association updated with the latest progress and consulting with an attorney for advice. Leader in LMU and resident of the Monta Vista community, Dave Radtke says, "We can understand that high school students would back a plan that would include lightedfields.Butwedoexpectbetterfromadults,whether [they be] parents, administrators, or others, when they realize that these neighborhoods are opposed to them." Simply present this card each time you visit & purchase a yogurt of any size. After 5 visits the t-shirt is yours for free free Dr. Sang Park, 408-996-0354 email@example.com Regular, Honors, AP & SAT Private, Small Group Online polling system started by ASB Elections Committee by suchetaKORWAR Freshmen Guidance Night The Guidance Department welcomes all current freshmen and their parents to an informational eveningonThursday,Nov.4from7pmto9pmin the auditorium. The Guidance staff will be going over valuable information pertaining to high school success. Topics of discussion will include an introduction to the college process and requirements, anoverviewofLHSresources,graduationrequirements, summer activities and more. Link Crew Halloween Carnival Trick or Treat! Come out and celebrate Halloween by attending the annual Link Crew Halloween Carnival on Friday, Oct. 29 from 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm in the quad. All current Freshmen are encouraged to come out attend this festive event. There will be booths with exciting games as well as prizes for the winners. Free food and candy will be available. Coffee with the Principal Keepingupwithmoderntechnologicaltimes,Lynbrook implemented an online voting system called eduBallot at the beginning of this year.As Elections Commissioner Candace Liu says, "The online polling systemthisyearismoreefficient thanlastyear'sbecause it takes less time and people to count the ballots. We also don't have to disrupt class to distribute and then collect ballots." The administration decided to use an online voting system after observing other schools that have used online voting, specifically Monta Vista High School, which has been using online voting for several years. Implementing the online voting system costs $399, roughlythesamecostsasayear'ssupplyofpaperballots.However,thecostofeduBallotcoversuseforthe entireyear,insteadofafixednumberofpaperballots. Assistant Principal Ellen Reller says, "Having unlimited uses also increases voting efficiency because we avoid wasting paper ballots, which were sometimes misplacedbyteachersornotfilledoutseriously." The new online system has already been used for school site council elections and Homecoming nominations and elections. It will be used in the future for any school-wide polls or surveys such as venues for WinterFormal,classelectionsandASBelections. However, only a relatively small portion of the student body participates in online elections. For the schoolsitecouncilelection,44percentofthestudent body voted, while 30 percent of the student body voted in homecoming nomination and 35 percent of the student body voted in the homecoming election. Reller says, "We hope to increase student body participation inonlinevotingto70percentbytheclasselections.By then, people may have heard of online voting through word-of-mouth." In addition, the administration plans to encourage students to vote by providing incentives, such as a chancetowinaraffle.Rellersays,"We'reproviding students with a more natural way of voting with this new system instead of handing them a paper ballot and forcingthemtovote.Nowit'sthestudents'responsibility to vote." GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY IRENE HSU OnOct.26,thereisaCoffeewiththePrincipal in which staff, parents and students can meet with PrincipalGailDavidson.Shewillbediscussingstudent accomplishments, the new Homecoming scoring system, Measure B Bond and upcoming plans forthe2010-2011schoolyear.Davidsonwillalsobe addressingplansandgoalsfromtheWASCcommitteeandinformationabouttheNov.2election.She will be open to any questions and concerns. CalGames Robotics Competition On Oct. 23 and 24, Lynbrook hosted its first ever CalGames Robotics competition in the gym where teams from across California came to participate. The objective was to compete against otherrobotsinBreakAway,agamesimilartosoccer. The teams had designed and created pre-programmedrobotsaheadoftime.Inthefirstpartofthe competition, robots autonomously kicked balls through zones while in the second half, participants had to maneuver their robots to climb towers. The name of the Lynbrook team's robot was Soccer Chimpbot Extreme. "Movember" For the month of November six Lynbrook staffers will be participating in an international event called"Movember,"amen'shealthmovementto raise awareness for cancers that affect men. The rules of "Movember" require participants to not shave their facial hair for the whole month. Mike Williams, Jose Ramirez, Michael Esquivel, Jeremy Kitchen,LeeAkamichiandJeffreyBalebeofficiallyparticipating,butBalehaspreparedactivitiesfor the whole school to engage in. The details are being kept undercover, but expect "Mustache Mondays," a montage of photos at the front of the school, and a large front gate decoration. There will also be a way to make donations in support of the cause. By Sahila Jorapur, Clay Song, Joy Shen and Austin Yu ASB| Chuang steps down, Liu steps up continued from pg 1 ASBinmind."IwanttoleadASBtoexemplifyandrepresent the school in the best way as I can, as a role model. It would be great to increase student body participation so the students at Lynbrook have a stronger sense of unity," says Liu, "not only as a class, but as a whole school." The adjustment to Chuang's resignation thus far has been a smooth one, both for Liu and the entire Leadership classasawhole.PrincipalGailDavidsonsays,"I'vebeen really pleased with how the leadership class is reaching out into new areas and working as a team.When Kevin did step down, the roles were reassigned. Sebastian and theleadershipteamworkedtogetheranddidn'tskipabeat, especially right before homecoming, the biggest event of the year." In addition, Leadership class advisor Tania Yang will be leaving second semester due to pregnancy leave, so business teacherAndrea Badger will be taking over the leadership class come January. "I'm definitely looking forward to working with Ms. Badger.Ithinkshe'sreallywellsuitedforthispositionand DANIELLE LERNER--EPIC that we will be able to work really well and the transition will be very seamless," says Liu. Liu takes up new ASB president responsibilities WASC inspires stress research group by sonikaSUBRAMANIAN & janeJUN As the school year unfurls, many students begin to utterthesamecomplaint,"I'msostressedout."Butthis year, Principal Gail Davidson plans to form a new Stress Management research group to accomplish one of Lynbrook's threeWesternAssociationofSchoolsand Colleges (WASC) goals, which is to help students build resilience and manage stress effectively. The research group will be a committee of teachers, parents, students and professional researchers. "Every single school has its own unique, distinct culture. We want to better understand Lynbrook's cultural componentssothatwecanfindoutwhich `copingstrategies'workandsharethemto our students," says Davidson. In order to gain more a comprehensive view on the matter, Davidson hopes to include Dawn Bridges, Lynbrook's student advocate. Bridges wants to see more juniors and seniors helping out the committee. She believes that although Lynbrook has generally high levels of stress, they seem to spike in juniors and seniors. She hopes that by more juniors and seniors joining the committee, they would contribute more information to helpfurtherthegroup'sresearch. Alyssa Fu, a Stanford Ph.D student studying social psychology, will be sitting incommitteemeetings,thefirstofwhich issettobeonNovember1st.Shewillbe offering qualitative professional feedback. Fu says the study is planning be trying to answer questions such as, "How are students experiencing parental pressure? Doesitaddtostudents'stressorarethere times when parental expectations can actually be motivating?" Although the members of the study group have been finalized, Davidson still encourages the Lynbrook community to contribute their opinions and experiences on the matter. "We really want more parents and students to be in- volvedso[students']voicescanbeheard, and we can better help the struggling students cope with stress in a healthy, productive manner," Davidson says. Peanut butter and traffic jam Both parents and students are the reason for traffic problems at Lynbrook--this needs to change by noorsherAHMED An SUV's front is smashed, steam rises from its engineandintothemorningair.Shatteredglasscoversthe ground. This is the scene of an accident on Rainbow Dr. last month. "Itwasreallyrandom.Onecarjustsuddenlyrammed intotheotheranditswindshieldexploded,"sayssophomore EdwardYeh. "I don't think the driver was paying attention at all." With drivers making illegal U-turns in the middle of congestion, kids getting out of cars in the middle of the street, speeding, breaking stop signs, "piggy-backing" (cutting your turn at the stop sign) and making three point turns,itisamiraclesimilaraccidentsdon'thappenevery day.Ontheotherhand,bikersridewithouthelmetsand break stop signs as if there was nothing in the world to harm them. "The main rule is that pedestrians have the right of way and sometimes the parents don't realize that when their kid is late, they just want to go through," says Miller MiddleSchoolcrossingguardJennyJames. Lynbrookstudentsareobservant.Theycanseeadisconnect between what their parents tell them to do--be a safe driver--and what their parents actually do--step on thepedal.Studentsbegintothinkthattrafficrulesarenot important enough to be adhered to word for word. It is easy to forget that not following traffic rules is moreseriousanddangerousthancuttinginlineorwatching too much TV. It is not just an issue of morality, it is an issue of mortality. It will be too late for teenagers to learn thehardwaythatinvincibilityisaproductofanoverconfidentimagination. Regarding students' lack of adherence to the traffic laws, Assistant Principal Sydney Marsh says, "People come to school later than I wish they would and it makes a huge congestion out there and in the congestion, people tend to make poor decisions." "Ifyouareattheschoolby7:15forfourdaysofthe week,andobviouslyonWednesdayby9:00,youwillhave no problems and no safety issues and you will arrive at school relaxed and ready to start school," Marsh says. That seems like a small thing to ask, but this solution restssolelyuponstudents'willingnesstowakeupalittle earlier in the morning. MillerMiddleSchool'sprincipalSalGumina,however, has another solution to offer. "It would be nice to have law enforcement here in the morning and afternoon," says Gumina."Wheneverthere'savisualpresenceoflawenforcement, obviously people are going to follow the laws of the road better." This is an almost foolproof solution, but the police have more important things to do than herd Lynbrook students and supervise speeding parents every morning. "It is really hard to get them out to Lynbrook High School because we are not considered a safety danger area. There are some other schools who do have it worse thanwedo...sosometimeswethinkthey'regoingtocome and they get called away," says Marsh. Studentswholivefarawayhavenochoicebuttotake a car to school, but those who live nearby only add to the congestion by coming to school in cars as well. Fortunately,thecityofSanJosehasaremedy."[They will] no longer have that center divider lane, where you canmakeaU-turnfromit,"saysMarsh."They'regoing to paint a series of diagonal lines, which means no more illegalU-turns." Thecitymightalsoaddadrop-offzonealongtheedge of Rainbow Park that borders Rainbow Drive in order to relieve some of the congestion. Inthemeantime,thetrafficwillcontinuetocauseun ecessary stress in the morning. Even with infrastructural changes, it is up to parents and students to permanently solve the issue by coming early and biking or walking to school. Trouble spots near Lynbrook 1. Johnson Ave. Frequent illegal U-turns made; heavily congested after 7:20 am. This street is the target of new infrastructure changes which will eliminate the center divider lane 2. Donington Dr. 3. Rainbow Dr. Mostly pedestrian problems; students cross intersection and disregard traffic Heavy traffic because students from Miller Middle School and Lynbrook High School arrive around the same time in the morning PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NOORSHER AHMED rigorthanBrittanyS.PiercefromGleedoes(nopunintended) sexual partners. I'm talking about shows like CSI: Las Vegas, where tween "sensation" Justin Bieber was recently invited to playthetroubledmastermindbehindthecrimeoftheseason 11 premiere, in hopes of spiking ratings with some prepubescenthair-flips. Itgetsworse.BeyondBieber,CSI: Las Vegas isalsoexpectingactressesElliotGouldandAnn-Margaretforsome rating-rearing; Cougar Town reunites actresses Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston so as to get the show off its feet initsjust-buddingsecondseason;andthecastof90210 welcomes Joe Jonas. How this all plays out, however, is in the hands of the executive director. Fans are wondering if this carefully calculated strategy hasn'talreadytakenoverGlee.Despitefinishingitsfirst season as an extremely successful show that garnered huge Gone are the days of Friends, when characters success from all over the globe, its second season is dry in wouldrecordtheirseason-spanningadventuresatsome comparison in terms of plot development. Starting with picturesque coffee shop and their apartments with the themiddleofitsfirstseason,Gleecannon-balledintospe same six people. cial-guestcasting,takinginstarslikeKristinChenoweth, Say hello to shows that add characters with more OliviaNewton-John,JoshGrobanandNeilPatrickHarris To Gleek or not to Gleek forshort-livedandinsignificantrolesthatdonotserve the story as much as it does the audience. And despite producer Ryan Murphy stating that the current season will be focused on exploring the territory of the original characters, the risky (and potentially suicidal) move of promising stars like Zac Efron, Javier BardemandTimCurryfuturerolescouldprovetobe ashottothefoot.Itishardtoescapethefactthat,ultimately,itisdonetomongerratingsthat(albeitbriefly) promote the actor and the show, but not necessarily the story being told. Modern shows that overdo special guest appearances do so at the risk of eating up time normally dedicated tostoryexpositionandregularleadcharacterdevelopment, and can change the nature of the series. The priority of the show should be placed on the story itselffirst,withflashycelebritiesfollowingthecritical foundationinplot,andnotvice-versa. ThesheernumberofTVshowsinvitingmusicindustry bigshots has increased exponentially, and the suffering plotlines and slow decrease in ratings should be more than enough incentive to bring back the original characters and keep it that way. Voice of the Epic staff editorial Lighting the Future The stadium lights are a necessary investment that will enhance the student experience Zoom in on Lynbrook in Google Maps, and the need to renovateourfieldsisapparent:thefirstthingthatcatchesthe viewer'seyeisthedilapidatedtrack.Zoomoutalittle,and thedensityofresidentialhousessurroundingLynbrookpresents another problem--the light and noise impact of evening games on the surrounding neighborhood. Butzoomoutagain,toSantaClaraCounty,andnoticehow allthehighschoolshavebeautiful,renovatedtracks,savefive. ThefivefieldsinFremontUnionHighSchoolDistrict. Lynbrook needs new fields--fields with lights. They are 40yearsoverdue,andtheMeasureBbondmaybetheonly money that is given towards facilities renovations for quite a while, given the state of the economy. The lights are not wishedforbyaself-centeredstudentbody.Theyareessential not only to our athletes and our musicians, but to our identity as a school. ItisagiventhatsportsandtheMarchingBandwillbeable to practice longer with lights; it is, apparently, also a given that all sides in this debate over lights are for the athletes andforthefields.Therefore,thedisagreementremainsover the disturbance that evening games and practices will cause. Eventhen,thereareonlyfiveorsixnightsayearwhenthe lightswillbeonuntil10:30p.m.Thosenightswouldbetrue homegames,playedathome,onLynbrookturf--andneighbors would, like always, be welcome to take part. EvenLynbrook'sunarguablyacademicslantshouldnotbe anexcuseforanoutdatedfield.Studentswillcomeandgo, but the fields will not.As Superintendent Polly Bove says, "It'snotclearwhenwe'llhavethechancetodothisagain. We'replanningforaverylongfuture." Intenyears'time,Lynbrookmaywellbetheonlyschool without lights on its fields. Standards may not be written down on paper, but to be the one school without lights--the one school that has to host its home games somewhere other than its own renovated field--is at once an embarrassment and an inconvenience. Anembarrassment,becausewewillstillneedtoborrow a field when everyone else is defending their home turf; an inconvenience, because Cupertino's community hasbeendealingwithmorethanenoughnoisefromhostingLynbrookandMontaVistagamesfor40years.Andto even suggest rotating between different schools to lessen theburdenisridiculous.Allfiveschoolsweregivenmon eytorenovatetheirfields;Lynbrookshouldnotbeallowed todoahalf-job. Therenovationsarenotjusttheretofacilitategamecoordination and stay standardized. Principal Gail Davidson says, "The fields are classrooms.They are places where studentsarelearning,notjustskills,butteamwork,leadership, and all those other skills that students learn through physical education and through athletic competition, and through band performances." Inshort,lightedfieldsaretheretocompletethehigh school experience, a mixture of brashness and brilliance that Lynbrook students, however studious, should not be deprived of. Installing lights in the fields would greatly increase the points of brilliance that graduates will be able to look back on with fondness. Lights mean evening games played at Lynbrook, on fields that have never hosted a homecoming game since their construction over 40 years ago. Lights mean increased pride in our facilities and our athletics, as well as ourselves.Lightsmeanawholelotmorethannoise,rowdinessandtraffic. As a school with residential areas nearby, however, we have to reach out to our community. Without their support, nothing can be truly resolved. We need to show them that the new facilities would welcome them with open arms. Let us invite them to evening football games; let us offer themtheopportunitytouseournewfields.Iftheydonot manage to stop the tide, they should at least be able to enjoy the ride. GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY NOORSHER AHMED Teachers should not be scapegoats by anthonyDING Ranked10thofatotalof1,236publichigh schools n the state of California, Lynbrook is the paragon of academic excellence. This high achieving environment inevitably leads to pressure to succeed and a mentality that placestheblamewhereitshouldn'tbe. In general, teachers have been on the receivingendofthesecomplaints.Butthefact ofthematterremainsthatitisnottheteachers'fault,butratheraflawinthementalityof the average high school student. The competitive nature of Lynbrook lends itself to the large number of high achievers at Lynbrook,withthetop10percentofthegraduating class of 2010 at a 3.94 to 4.00 GPA. Withthismuchcompetition,aBoraCoften leadstoanever-endingstreamofcomplaints by parents to teachers. Parents often ask why theirsonordaughtergotaBwhentheytried just as hard as those who got an A. There'ssomethingweneedtounderstand abouttheAmericaneducationsystem:Americans love the underdog.The classic rags-toriches story is loved by all for its promotion ofhard-work. Butteachersdon'tgiveAsforeffort,they giveAsforthestudents'results. Teachers themselves are under a lot of pressure to maintain a relative semblance of a Gaussian distribution in their grading.Afterall,anA-averagewouldcallintoquestion thedifficultyoftheclassandeventhecompe tence of the teacher. Thus, it is impossible for teachers to give all-As.Ifeveryonegets100percent,some100 percents will inevitably, and as little sense as itmakes,beworthmorethanother100percents. And where an A may be deserved, an A may not be given. Teachers always try to give an A where oneisdeservedbutthisisnotalwayspossible.Thisscenariogenerallyleadstoaparentteacher confrontation. Senior Timothy Chai, a four-year veteran of the Lynbrook grading systemsays,"Parent'sgenerallytendtotrust theirkidsmore,sowhenwetellthemwe've tried our hardest and that we think we deserved an A, they automatically assume that teacher'satfault." Unfortunately, this mentality is prevalent throughout the Lynbrook student community. And part of this is due to the high level of competitiveness and the high selectivity of colleges. Chai, however, chooses to trust his teachers. "Who reads your work and observes youinalearningenvironmentforatleast45 minutes a day, seven days a week? Not your parents,that'sforsure,"hesays. Whether the education system is "fair," will be left for another story, but the answer whether or not the teachers are at fault is a definitive"no". Whilesometeachersmayhaveratherbigoted grading policies, the vast majority strive tomaintainahighlevelofequity.Sothenext timeyougetthatB,don'ttellyourparentsto go duke it out with your teacher, ask yourself whyyougotthatBandhowyoucanimprove next time around. Regardless of whether this is productive for you, it sure beats sitting in embarrassment as your parents harass your teachers. Participation is essential for e-voting EileenChienadds,"Ididn'tthinkthatHomecomingwasthatimportant andIdidn'tknowwhatthecandidatesdid,soIendedupnotvoting." Thoughthesmallvoterturnoutdoesn'tseemlikeabigdeal,itcorrespondstoalargerissue:theshockinglylowvoterpercentagesfornational elections. According to Gallup Polls, the expected voter turnout for young adults (aged 18 to 29) for the midterm election next month is only19%.Ifstudentsdon'teventakethetimetovoteinaschoolelection,theywillhavetroublevotinginlarger-scaleelections,wherethe process is more complicated. As the percentage of people in our age group who vote decreases slightly year by year, we often take our right to vote for granted. Participation in publicaffairsiscrucialtothefunctioning of our democratic society. If we ever want to be able to fully participate in national elections in the future, we should be more enthusiastic about comparatively smaller instances now, like the elections online. While it is true that some people had problems with the system or were unaccustomed to it, students are encouraged to send in suggestions to Liu and Reller. The problems can usually be remedied with time and experience as students become more comfortable with the system. However, the main problem is not the system itself; it is the lack of voterparticipation,andtheonlywaytosolvethatisbyvotingandparticipating in future elections. by nancyNAN & ireneHSU Fourteen people walked onto the football field at halftime of the Homecoming game on Oct. 15 as the crowd above them quieted and waitedtoseewhowouldbecrownedHomecomingKingandQueen. Seventypercentofthecrowddidnotvoteforthosepeople. Voting for Homecoming was launched online this year and Lynbrook switchedtoEduBallot. Ournewonlinevotingsystemattemptedtobemoreefficientandde crease the number of wasted votes. Assistant Principal Ellen Reller also suggestedthesystemcould"helpincreasecivicactionandraiseawareness of democratic participation." However, the low number of voter participation suggests that even with the potential of the online ballot system, little will happen if people donotuseiteffectively.Only30percentofstudentsparticipatedinthe nominationsfortheHomecomingCourtand35percentvotedinthefinal election. Reller and junior Candace Liu, Elections Commissioner, sent outseveralemailsthroughSchoolLoopandmadedailyannouncements thismonthremindingstudentstovote.Studentshad48hourstovote, which is considerably more time to make a decision than the usual 15 or 20 minutes allotted under the old system. Even with the increased amount of voting time and information about theballot,somestudentswerenotinterestedenoughtovote.Sophomore GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY JASMINE MIRESHGHI LHS students face political ignorance by dianaDING Everyone has seen those videos where a person with a video camera walks around interviewing pedestrians who come off as extremely ignorant when they can't point out Kentucky on a map of the United States or nametheVicePresident.Thesadtruthisthatourgeneration is not that much better. InapollconductedbyCenterforInformation&Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), only26percentofthosebetweenage15and24believed thatbeinginvolvedindemocracyandvotingwas`extremelyimportant.'In2004,only6percentofAmerican youth were following the presidential election. Ourgenerationneedstobemoreinformedaboutpolitics and our government. A few Lynbrook students have already gotten politically involved. JuniorSandeepPeddadaworkswithcitycouncilmember Pete Constant and the Youth Advisory Council of SanJose(YAC)tovoicetheopinionofyouth,helping to write budget proposals for the city, advocating to keep youth centers and libraries open, and helping serve the community in general. "I decided to join YAC because it was the only way formetobeabletodosomethingthatwouldmakeadifference in the city and I also think it is cool to see how I can actually have a direct voice in government issues," says Peddada. According to senior Jonathan Zhang, who participates in the club Model United Nations, "Politics is something that people have to actively relate to them. Everythingyoudoandallthelawsareimportanttopolitics.Peopledon'treallyengageinitbecauseitdoesn't affect their life." There are things students can do to be more politically informed. Watching or reading the news is a great place to start; humorous late night shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewartshowcanlightenuppoliticaltopicsusingsatire.Studentscanhavediscussionswiththeir classmates, teachers, or parents about various relevant political issues. SomeLynbrookstudentsevenparticipatefirsthandin ordertogainabetterperspective.SeniorAlickXu,who interned with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman over the summer, also realizes the importance of being politically aware. Xuadds,"AlotofstudentsatLynbrooksaythatthey don't have the time to care about politics, but I think you should be involved in politics because the ideologies you have now shape the political stance you have in the future." INFOGRAPHIC BY SUCHETA KORWAR AND BRIAN ZHAO Becoming the next YouTube star the Epic staffer Shannon Chai shares her experience on the process of producing a video Girl sings like a man Turn on your computer, check the news and an article linksyoutoacontroversialnewsvideo.You'relurking on Facebook when your best friend's new status pops up ordering you to watch a man crying over a double rainbow. Log onto YouTube and your subscription box isoverflowingwithanewbatchofentertainment.Face it, people watch a lot of YouTube videos. However, few actuallyrealizehowthevideoscometoexistence.So,I decided to go on a hunt for the secrets to becoming an Internet sensation. Step 1: Film yourself for the world to see First, let me clear things up; no, you don't just set your cheap digital camera on a table and smile charmingly while perfect speech flows mellifluously out of yourmouth.Ontakeone,Ilookedintothecameralens and managed to get out five semi-intelligent sounding wordsbeforeforgettinghowtosaymyname.Ontake two,Iwasabletogetthroughthreelinesof"TheStar Spangled Banner" before utterly failing in patriotism and forgetting the lyrics. Finally, on my third take, I succeed in completing an acceptable, uploadable video. Step 2: Put yourself out there on the Internet My next step was to upload my masterpiece through mycleverlyconceivedusername:ShantomOfTheOpera, aportmanteauofShannonandPhantom of the Opera. After my video was uploaded, I proceeded to pick tags and a thumbnail. If you're as astonishingly intelligent as I am, then you understand the secret to getting more views is to tag trending topics and popular phrases, even if they are in no way related to your video. For example, I'm pretty sure "Bed Intruder" has nothing to do with a video of an innocent high school girl singing the National Anthem in a suspiciously low voice. Also, choosing your thumbnail is essential for viral success. This screenshot of you is the first impression you're going to make on viewers. Cross your fingers that the three available thumbnails aren't the awkward shots of you scratching your nose. Step 3: Your patience results in a fabulous reward After my video went public, I immediately bombarded whoever was online with demands to watch my video. Fortunately, my friends have connections, and in a few hours, my video was embedded on Tumblr, FacebookandevenarandomKoreanpopmusicfansite.The feeling of joy I achieved when I received a comment or a subscriber is incredible because I know someone took the time out of his or her day not only to watch myvideo,buttoprovideinsightandfeedback.Orjusta lame,"Thumbsupifyou'rethe251stviewer!" After experiencing the same adventure as Michelle Phan, Ray William Johnson and other internet sensations, I finally realize that making videos is not that easy.Somepeoplehavehundredsofvideosup,andthey devote their entire lives to this spectacular invention of the21stcentury.Soifyou'reuptothechallenge,posta video response to my video at http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=OC6vz2DMMXQ showcasing whatever you like,andI'llbesuretocomment,rateandsubscribe. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY VICKY RO YOUTUBE LOGOS USED WITH PERMISSION OF YOUTUBE PRESS ROOM by danielleLERNER & nancyNAN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELLE LERNER, NANCY NAN & ALICE ZHANG Getting fancy: Nails done in Grace Kim style by yasmineMORTAZAVI When senior Diane Chao had to get her nails done for her brother's wedding,shedidn'tgotoasalon.She didn'tdothemherselfeither.Instead, she commissioned Lynbrook's very ownnailexpert,seniorGraceKim,to paint them. After about two hours of intense concentration, Kim had completed her signature light and dark color gradient for Chao, whose nails were now glittery beauties. "I was definitely verysatisfied,"saysChao,"Myrelatives and family friends all complimented me, and when I told them a classmate of mine did them for me, they were shocked!" It's not surprising that Kim is so skilled:she'sbeen,inherownwords, "obsessed" with nails since the 6th grade. "I got really bored of the dull one-colored nails. I mean, everyone candothat,"saysKim. So Kim started painting her own more creative designs, getting inspiration from whatever she can do with the colors she has and the patternsthatcometomind.Someofher personal favorites include sky blue to navy blue fading sets and colorful stripes done with mood polish that changes color. Recently, Kim, who has had up to 40 different shades of polish at a time, has turned her passion for nails into money by selling fake nails to her friends and family. Prices vary from$10-$15,dependingontheprice of the original nails, how much time she works on them and what customers want on the nails. But like any entrepreneur, high school or not, she has come across difficulties.EventhoughKimtriesto keep her business small, time managementhasbeenanissue:itcantake up to two hours to paint just one set of nails, and at times it gets hard to reach the strict deadlines that her customers give her and still have time for schoolwork. "Usually, people really want them for dances and other events," says Kim,"Idon'tknowhowteacherswill end up planning tests and quizzes in that specific week, so time management becomes a really big issue for me during the school year." But Kim manages, and her customersaresatisfiedasshepaintsnails for friends, wedding guests and even her mom. "Her nails are just as professional looking as most other nail salons" says Chao. Sonexttimeyouneedtogotoa special event, are bored of your normal nails or just want to see what your manicurist looks like when she starts bawlingafterlearningthatyou'vedecided to let her go, try to get Grace Kim to paint you something with a personal touch. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SAUMYA KUMAR Jake for Governor Some of my readers previously questioned whether or not my expertise only applies to high school relationships. To prove these disbelievers wrong, today's gossip session will be transformed into a government and politics lesson. After participating in the Youth Leadership Mock Election and seeing all the candidates running for California governor, I have realized that I am actuallyquitethequalifiedcandidate. The requirements to run for a state governor are asfollows:tobeaU.S.citizen,haveahighschool diploma or equivalent, be free of felony, have good moral character and to be free of any physical, emotional or mental conditions that would adversely affectone'sjudgment.IamgladtosaythatImeetall of these conditions. I am a U.S. citizen.Sure,Iprobablydon'tlook like it with my hairstyle and super Asian wardrobe, but I know all the lyrics to the undeclared national anthem, Party in the USA, by heart. Also, every year onJuly4th,I'msureyouallreceivethoseminiature American flags unattractively planted in the most awkward spaces on your lawns. That is my doing. I have a high school diploma-ish. I basically fulfill most of the credits required by Lynbrook to graduate. What I lack in Econ credits, I make up for withmylevel75Maple Story character that has near perfectstats,withanimpressive436pointsinintelligence.Don'tmess. As for the criminal record, I have a clean slate. Okay,fine,IguessIhavecommittedafewmisdemeanors of sorts. I do jay-walk to school almost daily, even when the crosswalk is in front of me, evenwhenthecrossingguardiswhistlingatme.But allthecoolkidsjay-walk,soit'sreallyokay.Ialso tendtobeanapkinthiefatMcDonald's,alwaystakingmorethan40napkinsandacouplehandfulsof ketchup packets. None of the employees at McDonald'seversayanythingbutinsteadgivemelooksof ultimatedisapproval;so,itprobablyisn'tthatbigof adealanyways.Soforthemostpart,myrecordis free of scandals and crime. Now for moral character. Personally, I believe that judging moral character is incredibly subjective. While many tell me that the way I treat my girlfriend is abusive, and inhumane, I see it as preparing her fortherealworld.Ireallydon'tseeanythingmore sweet than prepping her for the millions of disappointments that she will have to experience when she fails. What some call heartless, I call tough love. Finally, I am definitely healthy. I am proud to report that my last visit with my pediatrician yielded a report with no diseases of any sort. The only problem that came up was that one of my nostrils is noticeablylargerthantheother.ButIdon'tbelieve this would hinder my performance as governor. My mental and emotional health is in tip-top shape. I don't enjoy hurting myself, and I only cry after watching the most sentimental movies, like Secretariat or Dear John. IbelievethatIammorethanqualifiedtobeyour next California governor. I would appreciate each and every one of your votes, and together we can change California. Unfortunately, I don't have the necessary funds to put together a legitimate campaign; so, I have been reduced to campaigning in this measly 3 by 12 inch rectangle in the Epic. Hey, not all of us are head honchosateBayorsomebigshotmayor. I'mprobablyjustgoingtowriteabouthighschool relationships next time... Remember, Vote Lu, and girls will be stuck to you like glue! ChecktheboxbyLu,andyouwon'tgettheflu! SupportLu,andI'llsupportyoutoo! PickLu,ifyoudon'tknowthecapitalofPeru! Ifyou'resickofmylamerhymedebut,electLu! xoxo gossip boy, The Jake Lu Sweets from Psycho Donuts do not meet the Epic staffer Sucheta Korwar's expectations by 3D Design 2 students create donuts for Psycho Donuts that add to the store's crazy environment by suchetaKORWAR aliceZHANG Withitsinsaneasylumtheme,flamboyantly-named donuts and local art d�cor, Psycho Donuts is more of an entertainment hub than a donut shop. After stepping into Psycho Donuts, theopensignsays"OpenforInsanity," with the most prominent aspect of the shop being the art by local artists. The paintingsarebizarre,depictingspiderhumans, skeletons and monsters, adding to the psychotic ambiance of the donut shop along with dangling body parts, skeletons and caution tape. The cashiers, dressed like nurses, administer bubble wrap therapy, handing out squares of bubble wrap to help cope with the stress of deciding which donut to buy and selling coffee as shock therapy. A television playing the scariest moments in horror movies and a mirror that says "Psycho of the Month" complete the mental hospital theme. However,afterallthethemebuildup and imaginative donut names, the donuts themselves are a big let-down. Donut names like "Nutella the Hun," "Noses and Eyeballs," "Razveganpucker" and "The Michael Jackson" all suggest unusual donuts with exotic toppings and fillings, but they detract from the actual taste of the donut. Most donuts taste like average donuts despite interesting toppings and fillings like cereal and candy. Besides its extraordinary theme and decorations, Psycho Donuts is an average donut shop. For the past month, the art aficionados and dilettantes alike in 3D Design 2 have been invoking their Rodin work ethics and chiseling, glazing and sprinkling their themed clay donuts for thenewPsychoDonutsstore.Students created their own original designs. "Students were expected to start with the concept of a donut and force it from there. They had to consider many elements like display, the overall presentation, and how it would look in a gallery or museum setting," explains 3DDesignteacherCharlotteKruk. Students were encouraged to think outside the box. "We needed to make themascrazyaspossibletoreflectthe craziness of the shop itself," says Rashmi Raviprasad, a junior in the class. Many students opted to use mixed media elements like shards of glass, to emphasize the idea. After extensive brainstorming, students presented a range of different donuts.Somestudentsmadesophisticated donuts, such as Raviprasad's Leaning Tower of Pisa donut, while others chose to create mad cow disease donuts after the mental disorder aspect of PsychoDonuts.Stillotherschosetocreate humorous donuts like obese donuts. Next time you run around the corner and the block into Psycho Donuts, be sure to grab a psychopathic donut and check out the clay creations of Lynbrook students. Offer expires: Oct 15th 2010 by kathyLI Intoday'stechnologicallyadvancedera,blogs, orweblogs,areoneofthefast-spreadingphenomenathatpeopleusetoexpressthemselves.They're places where users can share opinions and media like photos and videos, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal. More and more students are now turning to blogs as an outlet for their thoughts. JuniorDanielKaokeepsablog,thoughhisisa radical departure from the stereotypical blog. "Most people I know use Tumblr," he says, which is anonline blogging website where one can post anything from written to video entries, and can "follow" one another to see when others post new things. KaoisnotanavidfanofTumblrthough;instead he uses his own web domain called Diplateevo. He starteditfreshmanyearasapersonalblog,butgradually it became a place to share his Christian faith. ReligionisanimportantpartofKao'slife,and Diplateevoreflectsthat.Kaoregularlygoesouton the streets to pray for and minister to other people. "On my blog I post testimonies of people who havebeenhealed,"Kaosays."IalsopostsomeinspirationalquotesIfind.It'ssomethingIcanand am glad to share." Kaobelieveshisblogisavitalpartofhisjourney toward being a better Christian. SeniorAngelaWongdevoteshertimetoaspecialinterestblogcalledZOMG!art.Sheusesitto share her artwork, from hand-drawn sketches to full-colordigitaldrawingsmadewithatabletpen. She has posted her older pieces and her current work, a collection to which she is still adding. UnlikeKao,WongenjoysusingTumblr,forits easy-to-navigateformatandexcellentsupportsystem. "Tumblr is a great online community," Wong says."I'vemademanynewartistfriendsfromasfar away as the Philippines, and we all give each other feedback on our work. Other artists' opinions have given me helpful insight on how to improve my art." When Wong has time, she takes artwork requests fromotherpeople.Shehasalsomadetutorialvideos on request to show how she produces some of her piecesonPaintToolSAI,ausefulprogramforcreating images with a tablet pen. Wong sometimes gets inspiration for her work from other Tumblrs, which often link to the users'pagesonDeviantArt,apopularsitemadefor sharing art. Blogging is a creative outlet for Wong. "It makes me think outside the box, and keeps me drawingeveryday,"shesays.Otherbloggershave clearlytakenaninterestinWong'spassion,asshe now has more than 1,000 followers. Studentsusepersonalblogstopostupdateson daily life, express their interests and write or rant about anything on their minds. SeniorKirstieYuhasapersonalblogonTumblr, which she finds is a great place to share her thoughts."PeopleareopenandacceptingonTumblr," she says. "They'll follow you because they likewhatyoupost."Yuoftenre-blogsimagesand videosfromherfavoritefanblogs,orblogsded- icated to a specific celebrity or product of popular culture. Among the fan blogs she follows are ones devoted to the hit Fox TV show Glee, actress Marion Cotillard and pop sensation Lady Gaga. "With fan blogs, followers keep one another updated on the latest celebrity news,"Yu says. "Sometimes on fan blogsyoucanfindpreviewsofmusicfromGleebe fore it actually airs." On her personal blog, Yu also writes about her stanceoncontroversialissueslikegayrights.She is comfortable expressing herself because bloggers form online communities where there is little bashing on opinions, part of the reason why Yu prefers Tumblr to other social networks. "OnmyblogIcanreallysaywhatIthinkand myfollowersaresupportive,"saysYu."It'snicer than Facebook, which is largely about maintaining a good public image." Cafeteria driving school into debt by brianZHAO An effective yet precariously balanced system lies underneath the chaotic exterior of our school cafeteria. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was commissioned by President HarryTrumanin1946,shortlyafterWorld War II. According to its official website, the NSLP aims to "provide nutritionally balanced,low-costorfreelunchestochildren each school day." Beingafederalprogramwithalonghistory of development, the NSLP sets strict guidelines on both food quality and food safety.Lynbrook'skitchensdonotusefryers, and they offer whole grains, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, along with as littleprocessedfoodsaspossible.Thisprogramisespeciallyhelpfultowardthestudents who are underprivileged, or do not eat well at home. Other students who do not live close to here or are unable to drive finditconvenienttoeatatschool.Thecaf eteria staff members also carefully manage production sheets to minimize waste and make sure to heat and reheat the foods properly. TheschoolsparticipatingintheNSLP, which include all public schools, such as Lynbrook, receive a standardized cash reimbursement from the government for each meal they sell, but must pay for the expenses in making meals themselves. In Lynbrook'scase,anysurplusesordeficits are added to or subtracted from the FremontUnionHighSchoolDistrict(FUHSD) General Fund at the end of the year. Although full lunches are the cafeteria's biggest source of income, Lynbrook actually loses 53 cents with every student purchase. For every lunch that it sells, Lynbrook is paid $3.50 by the program, yet spends $4.03 due to a low number of student purchases. Since the beginning of school, Lynbrook's losses have totaled $3,200. While this may seem shocking, this is only a continuation of a burdensome trend that has plagued Lynbrook for years. Even in something as inconspicuous as cafeteria effectiveness, Lynbrook comes in dead last:While Fremont High School leadsthecurve,withschoollunchparticipationat20percent,andthedistrictaverage at 12 percent, Lynbrook only has 10 percent of the student population buying full lunch. This results in the largest losses forLynbrookoutofanyschoolinthedistrict, as the other schools offer the same menus and prices as Lynbrook's cafeteria does. On the other hand, Lynbrook ironicallyhasthemostfoodsafetycertifiedstaff in the district, with five out of the seven members having received special restaurant-qualitytraining. Inthe1970s,Lynbrookbrokeevenbecause it had a closed campus policy as well as two lunch periods. However, lunch was eventually reprioritized when considering more educational opportunities as well as students' freedom. According to Bill Schuster, the FUHSD Nutrition Services Coordinator, "The biggest problem now is a long line, the cause of which is a poor cafeteria and serving area." After Schuster first entered the district three years ago, he increased participation by 345 percent since 2007 by changing policies and adding new foods to the menu; he is the man who invented the popular "breakfast pizza," and introduced barbecue onThursdays.HecitesthattheMeasureB bond passed by community vote two years ago will be able to offer improvements to the Lynbrook cafeteria. Whenthebondpaysoffthisyear,Schuster, a former restaurant manager, imagines the redesigned food stations to be "much more friendly" and "appealing to all five senses." Whether or not the new system can sustain balance will be apparent once the renovations are finished and the students start lining up. INFORMATIONPROVIDEDBYBILLSCHUSTER GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY IN-DEPTH SECTION Additions to the by vickyRO TheaverageAmericanfamilyhasapproximately3.5peopleinit.Whileone-halfofapersonmay be impossible, for three Lynbrook students who have half-siblings and step-siblings, this description can be used to explain their family situations. SophomoreLeecieSuyedahasonehalf-brother, one biological brother and one stepsister. Halfsiblings share one parent while stepsiblings do not have blood relation. Although she did not grow up withthem,Suyedaisclosetoherhalf-brotherand step-sister. She says, "I feel like my half-brother [whois23yearsolderthanme]ismyrealbrother: we complain about our mom, play video games, hepickedonmewhenIwaslittle...it'snotmuch different from any other sibling." They behave so muchlikeregularsiblingsthatSuyedawasshocked tofindoutthathewasahalf-brotherafewyears ago. Her stepsister, the daughter of her father's long-timegirlfriend,iscurrentlyajunioratSaratoga High School. After knowing each other for seven years, they discovered they share interests like drawing and watching the same TV shows. Suyedaevenfeelscomfortableenougharoundher to have her stepsister move in permanently. LikeSuyeda,juniorLillianLihasstrongtiesto herhalf-brother.Overseveralsummers,shevacationedinherfather'shouseinCanada,whereher stepmother and half-brother, who is nearly two years old, live. To Li, having a new half-brother could not be more exciting. When Li was at the airport, her father called her telling her he had a surprise.SaysLi,"AtfirstIthoughthegotadog. [WhenIfoundouthemeantanewhalf-brother,]I screamed." Rather than being a wicked sister, Li is clearlyanadoringsistertoherbabybrother.Gushing,shesays,"He'sjustsocute.I'msadIdon'tget to see him more often." She only visits once per year and admits that he can be quite a handful. "He screamslikeaparakeetandbitesme.Oncehetook out all the pots and dropped them onto the floor while sitting there laughing. [Still,] I love him a lot," she says. Sophomore Kevin Wu, who currently resides withhismother,step-fatherandolderstepbrother, agrees with Suyeda and Li.ToWu, living with a stepbrother did not make a large impact on his life. Hesays,"Besidesanotherpreparedroomandmore food for dinner," he was not forced to change his lifestyle.Infact,herelatesthisexperiencetohaving a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law but feels closertohisnewsiblingsthantoin-laws. For all three students, the different ideals that their step-siblings and half-siblings grew up with never caused any problems. Suyedasays,"Weunderstandwhatourparents went through and are going through, and we just wantourparentstobehappy."Similarly,Wusays, "Idon'treallyfightwithanyofmysiblings,real or step. In the end, [nothing is] serious enough to causearguments."EventhoughSuyeda,LiandWu experience different family situations, all can attest to the fact that half-siblings and step-siblings are truly no different from and are just as lovable as regular siblings. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AUSTIN YU Girls' golf tied for 1st place in league by Junior Joyce Chen drives a shot off the side of the green at Deep Cliff Golf Course. Chen is currently practicing towards the final competition of the year: CCS eeshaKHARE They were number two in the league last year, and are currently tied at number one this year. With a current win:loss:tiescoreof13:2:1,thegirls'golfteamisdeterminedtomaketheCCSchampionshipsonNov.2. Butinordertodothat,theyhavetoplaceinthetop25 percent at the Coyote League Championships tomorrow at theCoyoteCreekGolfCourseontheValleycourse.Other schools competing against them are Evergreen Valley Highschool,SaratogaHighschoolandHomesteadHigh school. At the championships, the team will have a chance to redeem their loss against their biggest competitor, Evergreen Valley High School; though the Evergreen team doeshavetheTigerWoods'nieceontheirteam,theLady Vikes are practicing particularly harder to defend their rank in the league. SeniorCelinaNanbaraisconfidentthatLynbrookwill make a comeback. "They think they are good, but we know we are better," says Nanbara. Coach Art Zimmermann adds,"Many teams in the league have one or two great golfers out of six and the remaining four golfers are beginners. Lynbrook has two great golfersandfourverystronggolfers.Ourdepthofplayers is better than [that of] any other team in the league." SophomoreKimberlyVazsaysthattheteamisstrong in driving shots down the fairway, but when it comes to putting, she admits, "Coach Zimmermann can see that everyone needs to work on it." AsidefromLynbrook'srivalry,theteam'sstrongbonding this year has really helped them get to know each other better. The team members usually relax at the golf course clubhouses to discuss their performance at the game. Also most of the team members are returners who already know each other well. Nanbara says this helps the team bond, "because we have more things in common to talk about." Juniors Liz Liao and Evelyn Chu are the strongest golfers on the team. Despite constant appearances in local newspapers, Chu says, "I am proud to be playing with my fellowgolfers.Idon'tfeelasifIamunderagreatamount of pressure because everyone on the team does an amazing job every game. I have been playing for about six years anditwasn'tuntillastyearthatIdecidedtofocusongolf. Eventhen,it'sagreatfeelingknowingthattheworkIput inpaidoff,butitdefinitelyisn'ttheendoftheroad--there is still work to do." Theteamisproudtohavetheleague'snumberoneand two players golfing with them. Chu and Liao help their teammatesandarealwaysthefirsttostepuptothechallenge. Zimmermann says, "Liz and Evelyn always help their teammates with any part of their game they are struggling with. They are always there for the team and wait on the finalteetocheertheirteammatesonandarealwaysencouraging them. Both are also very humble about how good they are." He also adds that they are "grace under pressure," being consistent with their shots and attitudes. TheteamisconfidentthattheywillmakeCCSagain this year. Zimmermann agrees that although it was tough tostartthegirls'golfleague,andthescoresystemputthe Lynbrookteamatadisadvantage,"Iamconfidentwewill dominateinleaguefinalswherefivescoreswillbecounted." says Zimmermann. The girls' golf team's final match of the season is on Wednesday,Oct.27attheCoyoteCreekGolfCoursein Morgan Hill. GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY JOY SHEN AND SONIKA SUBRAMANIAN New coach brings positive spirit to LHS field hockey by Boys' polo ready for rematch against Wilcox "We'llwin,"saysseniorVikramKanth,"Imean, we lost by one [point] and we were up at the half After losing a tough match against Wilcox for the fourtotwo,soIdon'tthinkwe'llhavethesamething second time on Oct. 7, theViking boys' water polo happen again." team'seligibilityforCCShadbeenleftuncertainfor some time. This has been their second consecutive loss to strong rival Wilcox, placing them at the top of the division. OnlythetopseedfromthedivisioncanmakeCCS playoffs. The team will have to defeat Wilcox in the league championships assuming Wilcox does not suffer any losses. The boys look for revenge through a decisive victory. While morale has been hindered bythelosses,theteamisstillconfidentintheirability to defeat Wilcox. With a league record of eight wins to two losses, the team has easily championed over all their other opponents."None of the other teams have given us any trouble," says freshman Rishabh Hegde, an accomplishment the team is highly proud of. AUSTIN YU--EPIC Looking for a victory with a newfound sense of energy and momentum, the players eagerly await their Junior Jeffrey Chen prepares to throw the ball past Santa Clara's defender on Oct. 19. playoff determining confrontation against Wilcox. by austinYU yasmineMORTAZAVI WithCCSasatangiblegoal,fieldhockey'snewcoachJenny Dumas emphasizes the importance of a good attitude while pushing the team to be its best. Thisisadistinctchangefromlastyear'sdisappointingseason. Under Dumas, practices still consist of a good amount of conditioning, but girls also are working on things like stick skills and game situations a lot too. Dumas'coachingstyleismorepositivethanpreviouscoaches."Lastyearwedreadedgettingonthefield,wewereafraidof making mistakes." says senior Chelsea Zimmermann. Dumas is extremely clear about what the players need to improve on, but she also focuses on what they do right. ThegirlshavehadtoadjusttoDumas'morepositiveandsupportive style of coaching.Junior Katie Chon says, "[After last year]it'stakenawhileforustolookforwardtopracticeagain." As team members begin to enjoy the game again, their passion for playinggrows.Shesays,"Thisistheyearwe'regoingtomakeit [because]weworkwelltogetherandwe'rehavingalotoffun." Girls' volleyball reaching new heights by yunqingCHEN For the girls' volleyball team, how you play is how you practice. And the more you practice, thebetteryouplay.Onthecourt,itistheability to stay focused and aware with consistency that makes or breaks a game. Butworkingunderpressureisnotaproblemfor ourgirls'volleyballteam.Inamatterofminutes, the girls are executing the new play and working ontheflowasagroup,helpingeachotheroutand changing positions to ensure that the overall result meshes with the dynamics of the team. It seems improbable that there might be more freshmen than seniors on Varsity this year. Butthatisnotall. For the freshmen, a major factor in their ability to keep in shape by participating in club volleyball teams. "I think many of the players on the team were more accepting of the freshmen since they knew we had prior experience," says freshman StergianaAmberiadis. Being part of clubs like Stingray, City Beach and Vision provide experience with demanding practices, which help the perceived amateur and inexperienced develop their skills. In fact, participation in clubs is encouraged within the team, as it helps members bond outside of practice times. The hours spent with each other at clubs and other bonding activities brings the girls closer. The difference between previous seasons and thisoneismorethanjustage-deep.Accordingto Assistant Coach Joe David, "There's a lot more depththisyear.Theyknowalotmorethanisexpected. Last year, we played a lot of players who weregood,andhadpotential,butwereoutofposition.Hopefully,wecangrowasateamandfind therhythmthat'llgetustoourgoals." Withlastyear'srecordofcominginsecondat leaguesandmakingplayoffs,theincreasinglyintensepracticesthisyearmixedwithmoreextensive experience gained from clubs encourages the team to achieve equal, if not greater, results. "They'reyoung,energetic,andeagertolearn," says Head Coach Bill Fowler, "I intend to make the most out of that." DANIELLE LERNER--EPIC You can run from P.E., but you can't hide Youknowit'satypicaldayinthelockerrooms when you walk past rows upon rows of teenagers eagerlyvoicingouttheirpurehatredtowardsphysical education, while deviously plotting a scheme on how to fake cramps or injuries in order to skip out oftheday'sactivities. I'veheardexcusesrangingfromyourstandard, "I sprained my ankle," to the more personal, "It's that time of the month again." But alas, being the intelligentLynbrookstudentsweare,I'msurewe're all aware of the fact that most teachers do not fall forthesepatheticso-called"excuses,"soit'sback tothedrawingboardforstudentstodevisetheultimate fool-proof plan regarding their permanent removal from the P.E. attendance roster. Where there'sawill,there'saway,anditseemstomethat the ultimate solution students end up administering is a little something called "P.E. Athletics." Instead of taking two full years of P.E., students have the option of playing a sport to satisfy their physical education credits. Students who take the highroadandopttosufficetheirphysicaleducation credits through sports receive a sense of satisfaction, thinking they've come up with an easy way out of P.E. There'snodoubtthatP.E.Athleticsisapopular choice among sophomores, juniors and seniors, as with seniority comes lack of motivation and a strong desireforthemostminimalamountofclassespossible. People, in general, are lazy. We're always looking for shortcuts--in school, life, everything. The ultimate goal of a physical education class is to emphasize the importance of creating a healthy, active lifestyle in contrast to a hectic schedule of all work and no play. Byallowingstudentsthechoiceofoptingoutof P.E.,wearefuelingthetrainforAmerica'sonsettowardsobesity.Sure,it'sunderstandablehowpeople wouldmoanandcryatthethoughtofrunningseemingly endless laps around the track, but in reality, these mere laps prove to be nothing in comparison to the intense conditioning and practices members of the sports teams go through. A large portion of the students who resort to P.E. Athleticsendupjoiningsportslikecross-countryor track, and ironically end up running ten times the amount they originally would have if they had just taken a normal P.E. course. Many of us would much rather prefer to run four laps around the track every now and then, than to run the equivalent of twenty laps, or more, on a daily basis, which is precisely the reason why P.E. Athletics should be reserved for athletes who take up sports for the love of them and not just as a shortcut to laziness. There are numerous devoted athletes who play sportsbecausetheypossessastrongsenseofpassion and respect towards the game, not because it providesthemaneasyticketoutofanextraandexhausting class. They put in tremendous amounts of effortduringpracticesandconstantlystriveforperfection. Lynbrook sports teams, as a whole, are very competitiveandselectivewhenitcomestochoosing its members. Lack of interest and effort inevitably show upon players who do not take the sport seriously, which makes attempting to play a sport for the sole reason ofnothavingtotakeP.E.moredifficultthanitmay seem. The truth is most teams already have enough experienced, truly committed players, and don't needhalf-heartedstudentswithquestionableintentions to be a part of their team. In the long run, you end up back where you started if you don't make any sports teams--having to take P.E. So why waste all that valuable time and effort when you could be playing Starcraft or catching uponthelatestepisodeofGlee?Becausethetruth hurts, and the truth is that our sports teams would probably be better off without any extra noobs. Junior Gavriela Fine taps the ball over the net at the home game against Milpitas High School on Oct. 19. Dual coaching benefits cross country team by suchetaKORWAR With nine races into the season, the cross country team is still doing strong despite being in one of the toughest leaguesofCCS. Head coach Jake White says, "A lot of our runners run personalbestsateachrace,andwe'rerunningreallywell asateam,sowe'redoingprettywell."At theMontereyBayInvitationalonOct.15, the boys varsity team placed eighth, and thegirls'varsityteamplacedfifth. Senior Cindy Huang came in third, while sophomore Shaelyn Silverman came in fifth. Both belong to the girls' varsity division. However, one of the highlights of the meet were the large number of runners whohadranpersonalbests.Sophomores Silvia Signore and Jessica Fan ran their personal bests, beating their old times by roughly two minutes. Junior Andrew Kuo and sophomores SoMasuoka,AnthonyHwangandJeffrey Peaallranpersonalbestsintheboys'varsity and junior varsity divisions respectively. All of the above runners had beaten old times by over thirty seconds. Theteam'snextgoalaretohaveboth girlsandboysteamsatCCS,andtohaveindividualrunnersadvancetothestatemeetonNov.26. White says, "The four other teams in our league all placedinthetop15CCS,sowe'redefinitelyinacompeti tiveleague.We'rejustgoingtorunourbestandtrytoget toCCS." The team has been greatly aided in its efforts to get to CCS this year by the addition of a new assistant coach, RichardStiller,whoisnotnewtothecrosscountryscene. He'sbeenrunninglongdistancesince1968andhaslogged over 100,000 miles over the years. He also made several acquaintances with current cross country coaches in this area while running in long distance races against them over the last thirty years. These include HankLawson,Lynbrook'spreviouscrosscountrycoach; JakeWhite,Lynbrook'scurrentheadcoach;DannyMoon, SaratogaHighSchool'scrosscountrycoach;andWaltVan Zant, Wilcox High School's cross country coach. Stiller says,"I'vebeenintheseareaforalong time, and I've known these guys and raced against them for about 30 years. These folks are all good friends." From them he had learned a lot about how to coach teenagers. Stiller's longstanding friendship with Lynbrook cross country's head coach Jake White led to his current coaching job at Lynbrook. He and White ran together many times over the summer and it was White who first brought up the idea of a job at Lynbrook. Stiller says, "[White] began a seductive process; he would bounce some of his ideas for the team off of me, and eventually asked if I would consider coming over to Lynbrook to coach cross country." Now, he and White are working cohesively on coaching the cross country team. Combining both of their skills they have been able to foster the talent of the team. Stillersays,"Myfourgoalsforthecrosscountryteam are for the team to have fun; to help team members run the best they can, given their individual motivation and abilities;tosupportJake's,theheadcoach's,vision;and to help runners learn something about themselves in the process of reaching these goals." StillerwholeheartedlysupportsWhite'sgoal"tohave everyrunner,regardlessoftheirability,reachthebestperformance they can. My job is to help get the varsity teams totheCCSfinals." GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY ANTHONY DING Home away from home by danielleLERNER & austinYU Lynbrook High School students typically have uniqueworkingenvironments.Whetherit'ssettling down in a quiet corner at the library, lying on the grass in the park, relaxing on a bed or simply sitting atadesk,oursurroundingsarepersonalizedtoreflect our needs and interests. Teachers are no different. StudioArt teacher Lee Akamichi's (top) office is decoratedwithstudents'workaswellassomeofhis owncreations.Similarly,artteacherPaul Willson (middle left) displays his Mad Men adoration and eye for color through fun furniture and 80s colored paint. Spanish teacher Michael Esquivel (middle right) shows off his heritage by hanging posters and bannersportrayingSpanishsoccerteams,artistsand the cartoon series Homies. Foods instructor Megan Hamilton's (bottom left) neatly organized desk is surrounded by colorful food pyramids and ceiling ornaments. 3D Design teacher Charlotte Kruk (bottom right) furnishes her newly renovated officewithacomfortablecouchandcolorfulpaperart madebyherstudents.Teachers'roomsandvarious personal touches provide relaxing places for them to sit down, focus and release the stress of the day, all while feeling perfectly at home.