Technology: Good or Bad (see page 2)
Serving the Archbishop Mitty Community
Volume 22 Number 3
From the Capitol to the Class
MAP Holds Conference With Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren By Omid Mirfendereski & “We must learn how to collaborate, to move forward,” ties. Confirming her own commitment to these causes, she Payam Mirfendereski she stated. “Learning how to compromise is one of the most asked students to be proactive and attentive to their rights Staff Writers important leadership qualities a young leader can practice.” and responsibilities as citizens, and to question themselves Archbishop Mitty hosted its first Youth Advocacy LeadHighlighting the need for interpersonal dialogue and daily with a simple, yet profound, “What can I do today?” ership Conference on Saturday, Feb. 2, one that featured humility, Ms. Lofgren continued, “The country needs acFittingly, the subsequent student-run workshops sought on-campus workshops on human trafficking, advocacy, and tion, and if both parties are dead set in achieving 100% of to answer this very question. Since late September, MAP nonviolent conflict resolution. Designed by the members had intensively labored and prepared Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP), the conference four interactive workshops for conference atbrought together students from Bay Area Cathotendees: Human Trafficking, Nonviolent Conlic schools for a meeting with Congresswoman flict Resolution, Advocacy 101, and Working Zoe Lofgren and two informative breakout with Congressional Aides. sessions touching upon pressing socio-political The first three workshops were comprised issues. of exercises and informative sessions driven by Mr. Michael Accorsi, the MAP moderator, students. MAP Vice President Erika Kawaexplains that the conference is aimed to engage guchi and three other members held the first students from the Archdiocese of San Francisco workshop on human trafficking. and the Diocese of San Jose to initiate permaEngaging the audience with shocking but nent change for the less fortunate. As MAP was significant facts on the industry and its victims, not able to make its annual trip to Washington, they put a weary, yet well-informed face on the D.C. in 2012, due to the strains of election year, issue. Erika explained that the workshop aimed the group decided to hold an event that would to inform students on a threat that is nearer to not only generate interest in Advocacy with Bay them than it actually seems. Teaching students Area Catholic schools, but would also inspire to be vigilant of Trafficking is the first step in people to create change and to raise a more preventing and limiting it in our community. powerful “collective voice.” The fourth workshop featured the advice of Those hopes were affirmed in the opening Mr. Ali Ramezanzadeh and Mr. ZJ Hull, Constatement given by MAP President Katherine gresswoman Lofgren’s legislative assistants. Kirst. She described the participants as “the They presented the nuts and bolts of advocacy future generation of innovation and imaginaImage Courtesy of Shannon Lam through the perspective of congressional aides. tion” of America. They are the ones who, as They also reminded attendees that both Juniors Erika Kawaguchi (L) and Katherine Kirst (R) present Father Jon Pedigo later declared, must “filter congressmen and their aides are there to address Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren with a token of appreciation. through privilege” and listen to the cries of the the needs of the citizens. most vulnerable in their communities. This idea was then their aims, nothing will be achieved. Many times, you the “We want to hear your concerns, we want to meet with symbolized in the subsequent prayer, a touching service in constituency may have a suggestion that helps our office you. Many times, you may have the idea on how we need which students read aloud the horrifying stories of victims with a current problem.” to resolve a problem in our district,” Mr. Ramezanzadeh of human trafficking, poverty, and other dehumanizing ills. Last year, it was the MAP members who offered up a explained. With the prayer service concluded, the students in the suggestion, visiting Congresswoman Lofgren at her office to Ms. Lofgren concurred, “Be happy. Enjoy what you do. chapel warmly welcomed Ms. Zoe Lofgren, U.S. Represen- present their plan against Human Trafficking. Ms. Lofgren Much of the work I do is dealing with problems and it’s hard tative for California’s 19th congressional district, to Mitty’s recalled the visit, “Last year students from Mitty came to to smile while you’re working, but you’re on the positive first Youth Advocacy Leadership Conference. Ms. Lofgren my office and suggested we approach small chain hotels and side of fixing the issue. Show your passion, your enjoyment, presented an insightful and intimate speech about the role restaurants to inform clients and employees about practices and energy to get things turned around and enjoy doing it.” of youth advocacy in a democracy and its positive impact of Human Trafficking. It resulted in working with Mitty Instructive and productive, MAP’s Youth Leadership on U.S. legislation. to place a placard in these establishments to help inform Conference was a significant stepping stone for greater Proclaiming that the “U.S. must use its power, author- victims of Trafficking.” student participation in the community. It challenged atity, and affluence to support those who do not have them,” This union between students and youth advocacy, Ms. tendees to step outside their comfort zones, become aware Congresswoman Lofgren appealed directly to our obligation Lofgren emphasized, is essential in tackling the issues that of important issues, and most importantly, acquire the skills to assist the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. plague today’s society as well as in defending civil liber- necessary for effective advocacy in the future.
Behind “AM in the AM” By Srikanth Cherukuri & Ashley Do Staff Writer & News Editor
For the past eight years, Archbishop Mitty High School has been producing videoformatted announcements for the student body. While for many students this integral part of our daily schedules goes underappreciated, these announcements require a great deal of behind-the-scenes work and preparation. In the past, students were provided daily information regarding athletics, clubs, and extracurricular activities through a live recording of the announcements. However, the technology would often malfunction. Consequently, a faculty member would have to promptly run to the Main Office in order to deliver the news over the loudspeakers. Now, with new technology and an attempt to make announcements a bit more entertaining, Mitty substituted boring news over the speakers with enhanced pre-recorded video announcements uploaded to Mitty Compass. In order to make “AM in the AM” and the well-known “Mitty Minutes” possible, the Student Activities team of Ms. Teresa McCabe, Mrs. Melissa Boulton, and Mr. Greg Walker works early every morning to get these videos out to the students. As senior Kyle Jackson (known for his trademark gesticulations) elaborates, “It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that makes everything run smoothly, and it seems unfair that the people in charge so often go uncredited while we anchors have all the fun.” Every morning starts with Ms. McCabe delivering a compilation of news items submitted by students, teachers, coaches, and club moderators. All this information is then converted into a script that is processed onto the teleprompter, and then divided
up for both anchors to review. At this stage, the anchors clarify any difficult word and name pronunciations and make appropriate adjustments. Mr. Walker states that it can require as many as five takes before the announcements are ready to be shown (Kyle Jackson, though, has been known Junior Briana Sooy and Sophomore Nick Pappas to do it in just one take). record AM in the AM. Redos, consequently, are necessary when a mispronunciation is made or if the pace is too choppy. After much trial-and-error, the announcements are then ready for our viewing pleasure. Once Mr. Walker and Mrs. Boulton indicate every morning that “AM in the AM” has been uploaded onto Compass, the morning announcements are broadcast to the entire student body. Accessible, streamlined, and highly efficient, video announcements now have proven to be a great success. So, next time the announcements are playing, make sure to appreciate the dedication that numerous students and faculty put into that ever-familiar phrase, “Good morning students! Your announcements are now ready!”
Opposing Viewpoints: Technology
ConneCting our WorlD
By Ryan Ballard Staff Writer Imagine it is the year 1967. The first commercial microwave has just been released. As more and more households begin to adopt this new and mysterious gadget, friends and neighbors begin to wonder: is this new device safe? Are microwaves sending lethal, radioactive waves through our homes? What about the introduction of the automobile or airplane at the turn of the 20th century? These inventions have changed the way human beings live, making it possible to work in the city but live in the suburbs and to travel halfway around the world in a single day—but there is also a risk factor involved with these potentially lethal machines. When new technology is introduced to society, it is both natural and necessary to consider the changes it will bring. We are in the midst of a modern dilemma; many Americans are beginning to step back and evaluate the rapid changes that have been occurring over the past couple of decades. As teenagers in this era of technological dependence, we have certainly seen a great deal of change over our life spans—the popularization of the internet, the cell phone, the smartphone, and social networking. As a global society, we are more connected than ever—but the question is, are we too engrossed in these “connections?” There is a general fear that the cyber world is replacing human interaction, and for good reason. If you stand in a food court mall, the DMV, a coffee shop, airport, virtually any crowded place, you will see that most people have their heads buried in their phones. With Facebook, email, text messaging and countless other applications, it is possible to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere—so when your pocket begins to buzz, how can you resist? Do we intercede and profess “Out with the iPhone! Enough is enough”? Should we cut the cord on this nonsense? The simple answer is no. The fears of losing face-to-face interaction are viable, but it would be unfair to say that modern technology has more vices than virtues. The world now is so different from the world our grandparents and even our own parents inhabited before us—in general, we have it much easier than they did.
Think of the simple task of researching for a school project—for our parents, this research would entail a trip to the local library, and who knows how long that would take? Fortunately, we have the luxury of Google and Mitty’s plethora of databases. A world of information is at our fingertips, and though we often take this for granted, we all have the ability to use this remarkable tool to our advantage. Also, staying in touch with old friends used to be a daunting task, but with Facebook and other social networking sites, staying connected is easier than ever. Who knows, your friend from high school may have the next million-dollar idea. Is that really a connection that you want to lose? Text messaging has also worked its way into our hearts, allowing us to send quick memos or funny pictures directly to our friends and family. Casual communication with the people we love allows us to grow closer, replacing long, dragging, dreaded phone calls. It is true that problems could arise out of these modern technological advances—it would be easy to spend an entire life behind the computer screen, watching YouTube videos and making online friends you would never actually meet in person. However, the benefits of global communication, smartphones, and the Internet far outweigh the drawbacks. Consider how the people of Egypt were able to stage an uprising against Mubarak and his oppressive reign through Twitter and a host of other social networking sites. Consider Kiva, the website that allows anyone to make microloans to small business owners living in far-away, impoverished countries. And never forget Wikipedia, the site that has allowed all us to write last-minute papers on topics we did not have time to research. From social change to daily convenience, technology certainly can shape the world for the better. Technology brings us together on a global level—freed from geographic, linguistic, and cultural boundaries—and locally. After all, friends and family may only be a click away. So before you vehemently protest another Apple product, the shortcomings of your PC, or the trivialities of social networking, think again about all of the benefits technology has had on our society. Connecting to the Internet may just mean connecting to the global community.
Destroying our iDentity
By Kaitlin Milliken Opinions Editor Sometimes I feel as if I am living in a world where the machines have risen up and taken control of our daily lives. We wake up to the alarm on our phones, work for hours on our iPads in the classroom, and check our messages every five seconds out of habit. As if the machines were not troublesome enough in our work life, it’s impossible to have a normal conversation without the mention of the melodramatic soap opera found in social media. However, the minor annoyances of technology do not compare to the detrimental effect of a life lived vicariously through the screen. Technology has become all we think about, talk about, and focus on—in other words: our identity. In order to fully understand the effect of a technologically-based life, we must first examine how individual identity is formed. First, people develop a sense of self-awareness, coming to understand their own personal opinions and emotions based on their values, past experiences, and future aspirations. Thereafter, the individual looks to the outer world to find where they best fit into society. But the technological boom has made external influences much more prevalent, as the opinions of outsiders are only a click away. In addition, iPads and personal laptops are awarded to children at ever younger ages, drastically decreasing the time they have to develop a sense of self-awareness. Instead, their attention is diverted to the digital world. The internal plight of forging a unique individual is replaced by media influenced mannerisms acquired from narrow-minded webmasters and video makers. Media is pumped into the young through new mediums, resulting in homogenized projections of popular culture. Social media presents the full formation of identity with another issue: the creation of online facades, portraying only select portions of one’s personality. Personal statuses on Facebook, Tweets, photos thrown on blogs, even the creation of a Tumblr account, lead people to develop an attention-centered identity. “Who am I?” morphs into the question, “What will get me the most likes?” Which generally equates to, “What agrees with popular opinion?” The prevail-
ing attitude of the online realm leads to a rejection of nuanced world-views that deviate from the norm. Ultimately, the parts of our personalities phased out on social networking sites are then pushed out of our lives offline. People conform to popular thought, stifling the originality that defines a true sense of identity. Many argue that technology and social media are created for the individual’s benefit; where else can people freely express themselves online? There’s nothing more intimate than sharing one’s interests through gifs or “avante-garde photos” of city scenery. However, if you look closely on the so-called “unique” displays of art or humor found online, you’ll realize that these forms of “creativity” are extremely similar. The picture your friend posts of their shoes that seems rather artistic looks like the thousands, maybe millions, of feet photographed around the world. There are only a finite number of Friends episodes you can take screenshots of and use for witty banter. Memes are less than entertaining when they employ the same brand of sarcasm. Different websites are akin to different cliques at school; one immerses him or herself in a certain digital realm as he or she becomes a part of the screened mass with no unique contributions to make. The false sense of individuality and creativity fostered online gives insight to the hedonism of the modern world. Technology is meant to connect all people and be used for our betterment, such as researching and learning, but it is generally used for little of importance. The internet is just a dumping ground for funny pictures. Google simply possesses the answers to homework assignments. A phone is a device for texting that can easily be replaced when the newer, thinner version comes out. The technological web leads the individual into a never-ending spiral where all that matters is the relationship between machine and consumer. So maybe we are living in a land where social media tells us what to think and what to buy, a land in which being unique is deemed impossible. Still, I would like to think that the individual and fighting spirit of man has not been relinquished to the driving force of technological change. I want to believe in unique thought and world views, but unfortunately, I am finding myself unable to deny the loss of individuality to the land of the machine.
February 2013 • Opinions
Why All the Fuss?
By Jordan Rehbock Staff Writer Anyone who has ever attended high school can tell you that it is not rare for a student to feel frustration, anger, or regret in the aftermath of the most dreaded time of any school year: finals. Remember that grade that was only one percent away from a straight A? Well, the 94% you got on the final wasn’t enough to bring it up from an A-. Sorry. And the class you had an A in? Your final grade lowered that to a B+. While it is important to evaluate a student’s cumulative learning, the scoring methods utilized by many classes make it difficult to raise a grade. And who can forget the extra amount of stress put on students who have already performed well throughout the semester? Reviewing material for six different subjects creates a heightened level of academic anxiety. Nervous students do not score as highly on exams, making it difficult for them to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular subject. In the frenzy of pre-finals studying, papers with charts of grades, percentages, and final exam values circulate among the students, revealing, to almost everyone’s dismay, that the possibility of raising their grade is slim. Think about it: maintaining a borderline grade is can be especially difficult. While a student with a 96% in a class has little to worry about, a student with a 90% has to score at least 90% on a final worth 10% of their grade to hold onto their hard-earned A-. And much more significantly, raising one’s grade to a 93% in such a situation is mathematically impossible. This painful reality can be quite daunting to students. One possible solution is to simply
exempt students who have maintained a high grade (93% and above) in a certain class. This system is already used in some public high schools and by certain college professors. Other requirements could also lead to exemption from exams. Notre Dame, a local, private high school, employs such a system: CSF members who put in extra hours as tutors may skip one final exam per semester for a course in which they have at least 93%, conditional on the subject. A similar system could be applied to Mitty students who have completed a specified number of additional hours in Christian service. This would reward an individual’s effort rather than providing him or her a “free pass.” Some students who put in the extra time and study hard to earn an A on the final--a feat in itself--may “just miss” the opportunity to raise their grade. Students in such a situation may find themselves with, say, 89.3% overall, just on the cusp of moving up to an A-. Being so close, it is appropriate for a teacher to raise their grade to an 89.5% (a score automatically rounded up in webgrade to an A-). After all, achieving such an impressive score on a final shows they are deserving of the extra nudge. So yes, finals will continue be a frenzy. Tests will cause unease among students. Scoring charts from the counseling office will still fly. But with the help of teachers and with the help of changes made to the finals system, there may just be a little less fuss at the end of the semester.
MusiC: An enDAngereD speCies Let’s be frank. Music these days is not what it used to be. Turn on the radio and what do you hear? A new catchy breakup melody by Taylor Swift or another one of those generic pop songs about a completely random—yet beautiful—girl (you know who I’m talking about). What happened to the time when “Stairway to Heaven”
obsesseD AnD prouD By Pratyusha Javangula Staff Writer
While the recent break-up of teen A-list couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez leaves millions of fans speaking out in shock and disappointment, others, unamused by the pointless problems of “overly glorified” celebrities, strike back with clichéd criticisms of celebrity fans. For much too long, those who dare to express their obsession with celebrity have been at the mercy of these so-called “logical and intelligent” people with no time to spend on the frivolous affairs of the famous. So let’s set the record straight. These “intellectuals” consider themselves better than the rest of us for ignoring any and all talk of celebrities. However, in the process they discount a lot of the thought-provoking comments made about celebrities simply because the words “Britney Spears” and “intellectual” can’t be in the same sentence. Even mentioning Miley Cyrus’ new haircut is likely to prompt eye-rolls, so anything I say about celebrities’ positive impact on society at large is lost among a chorus of self-righteous sighs. What these closed-minded, unfortunately under-informed citizens don’t realize is that every celebrity fan is a fan for a reason, and more often than not, that reason goes beyond beauty and fame. Kim Kardashian is an extremely savvy businesswoman, having started several popular franchises like Dash, ShoeDazzle, and the Kardashian Kollection. Angelina Jolie is revered for much more than her full pout; her acting talent as well as her philanthropic efforts in Africa are respected throughout the world. Few celebrities enjoy fame without reason, and many fans admire them for their talent and significant contributions to society, contrary to what the “upper echelon” would have you believe. If it’s not fair to mindlessly criticize someone on the basis of their race, gender, and sexual orientation, I can hardly see the fairness in the criticism that celebrity fans face on the basis of their idols. Certainly there are shallow celebrity fans, but that doesn’t justify those who criticize all of them. So for everyone who finds joy in Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s marriage and who is looking forward to the Jenner girls’ new clothing line, know this: you should be proud of what you’re interested in. Even if the naysayers don’t think so.
was the most requested FM radio song, when albums were praised for their societal impact? I’m not going to lie. Most of today’s mainstream music is utter garbage. The industry is full of trashy pop artists who seem to be content producing the same mindless music about breakups or sex over and over again, just to reap any form of profit. There are always going to be those who just want to make money, but the worst artists are those By Varun Chhabra who started out producing Staff Writer original music and consciously chose to conform to the main mainstream pop standard just to make some extra cash. Take Taylor Swift, for example. Back in 2004 she burst onto the music scene with her eponymous debut album that garnered huge critical acclaim and chart presence. Here was a talented teenage singer debuting with a quirky country album that featured twanging guitars and banjos. Fast forward nine years and we see a pure pop sensa-
tion producing “hit” singles such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Just like that, a young talented country artist has now become another one of the music industry’s pop marionettes, singing hackneyed tunes that seem to grow old after one or two listens. This degrading transition from distinguished artist to pop conformist runs rampant through the music industry. Another disheartening example of this is the band Maroon 5. This group started off producing stylish love songs filled with interesting guitar hooks and melodies in the 2002 album Songs about Jane. But look where they are now: producing commonplace electro-pop songs such as “Moves Like Jagger” and “Payphone.” I refuse to believe that a talented band such as Maroon 5 simply lost its ability to innovate and make new creative music. Rather, they, like so many others, chose to conform to pop standards to appeal to a wider audience simply to make more money. It is a tragedy that so many artists have abandoned their unique styles to become just another cog in the mainstream machine. Music has so much power, and artists need to take advantage of the fleeting time that they have to make lasting impressions. Bands like Radiohead, The Strokes, and Foo Fighters do not compromise their individuality, but unfortunately such musicians are rare. For the sake of modern-day society and our ears, artists need to take pride in their original styles and work toward making radio hits respectable again.
Opinions • February 2013
reDuCe, reuse, revAMp By Nina Ge and Stefan Vukicevic Opinions Editor and Staff Writer There are good intentions and there are good deeds. Good deeds require good intentions, of course, but an intention does not fulfill the deed. Take the green movement. We are constantly told to “go green”—to do our share in preserving the planet. We’re bombarded with images of canvas tote bags, blue recycling bins, and reusable water bottles. And we buy these things, intending to do our duty in preserving the planet. But what happens next? The tote bags are discarded—forgotten at home and substituted with plastic grocery bags. The recycling bins are left empty—abandoned for the convenience of trash bins. And reusable water bottles are lost—replaced by plastic water bottles. These actions aren’t malicious; no one strives to rob the planet of its resources, to singlehandedly destroy ecosystems. Rather, the good intention that bore the good deed has been stifled by time, convenience, and money. Mitty, too, has good intentions and has made strides in fulfilling these intentions. The school is certainly on its way to creating an environmentally-friendly atmosphere. According to Mr. Jorge Helmer, the chief financial officer of Mitty, the school “intends to have a robust recycling program,” separating out and recycling “paper based products, yard waste and landscape debris, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.” Already, paper use has been reduced significantly during the current school year, saving the school a total of $29,886. And in addition to recycling, the school has, according to Mr. Helmer, “replaced disposable utensils with biodegradable ones,” “replaced 125 outdoor fixtures with new LCD technology, cutting energy consumption by 90%,” and “installed filtered water dispensers to reduce the use of bottled water in six locations throughout campus,” among many other efforts. These are a great start. But alone they cannot achieve absolute sustainability. In fact, within the current recycling system, there is still room for improvement. For instance, the program was implemented three years ago, yet a large number of students and faculty members seem unaware of this. This unawareness stems largely from lack of communication and has led to a lack of participation. In fact, some teachers and students to this day fervently believe that Mitty does not recycle. They see that the bags used to store landfill waste and those to store recycling material are the same color, which inevitably causes confusion. And once the material within the bins is carried away by Republic Services, the company Mitty contracts, no public follow-up takes place, no statistics are shared with the student body, and so students are left unaware of what progress we’ve made. Mitty would benefit in emulating the efforts that Santa Clara University has made toward the green movement. The university has been a model of sustainability, having implemented countless programs through their Office of Sustainability to create a truly “green” environment. Among these programs is a recycling and waste diversion operation. According to the SCU website, the operation seeks to “divert waste from landfills by either recycling, composting, reusing, or donating.” So rather than take the common shortcut of shipping all waste to landfills, the university strives for more effective and universally beneficial solutions, such as recycling some materials on site. Moreover, the materials that are recycled offsite extend far beyond the norm—according to the Office of Sustainability’s website, the university “collects plastic, glass, aluminum…cardboard…metals, electronics, batteries, cell phones, ink car-
tridges and compact fluorescent light bulbs.” And to encourage environmentally-friendly practices among students and faculty, a variety of receptacles and their respective instructional signs are located throughout campus—blue for recycling, black or red for landfill waste, and green for compost. The process does not end once the waste is placed inside the bin. The Office of Sustainability ensures that the programs in place are effective and efficient through operations such as Waste Characterizations. Each quarter, students, staff, and faculty “open bags of trash and sort the material into 16 categories that they then measure and weigh…in order to see where they need to improve.” In addition to projects such this, students are educated through sustainability courses and student-run campaigns. From the administration to the faculty to the students, each member of the school plays a role in making a more sustainable world a reality. Sustainability is not simply a recycling system at Santa Clara University, but rather it seeks to educate, to create “a culture of sustainability” according to Ms. Lindsey Cromwell Kalkbrenner, the director of the Office of Sustainability. The school seeks to “build a more humane, just, faith-filled, and sustainable world.” In fact, University President Father Engh’s inauguration speech in 2009 called for a commitment “to creating a more just and sustainable world,” asking his audience “what better use of their talents could there be than to engage minds, hearts, and consciences on behalf of human dignity and the common good of our planet?” These ideas of human dignity and the common good are common themes taught in Mitty’s classrooms, for Mitty too founds itself on Catholic ideals. And so what can we do? Well, for one, the administration could expand the recycling system already in place—perhaps with the addition of compost bins. And moreover, they could regularly relay recycling statistics to students to ultimately create a more aware student body. Students also have the power to initiate projects and programs. Students may seek to implement a recycling bin of their own at school, each week hauling the material to a recycling center themselves, earning money. Many companies will pay for paper waste, plastic, electronic waste, and more. Selling recyclables offers a cost-beneficial way of achieving sustainability. Students may also keep the materials they would normally recycle and recycle them at home. The possibilities are infinite and the choice to make sustainability a reality and to make a good intention a good deed are ours.
gun Control: FACing the FACts
By Rachita Pandya Staff Writer On the left side of the stage stood pegboard panels with several mounted assault rifles and semi-autonomic armaments—including a Bushmaster similar to the one used in last year’s Newtown, Connecticut school massacre. Behind the stage stood police officers encouraging the renewed ban on such weapons. One by one, victims of gun violence shared their stories and voiced their support for the new federal ban, the Feinstein Bill, being proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein on assault firepower. Feinstein’s proposed plan will ban the sale, the manufacturing, and the importation of 158 semi-automatic weapons with military features. It will also ban fixed magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This bill differs from the 1994 assault weapons ban in that it does not have a sunset provision (designating that a ban will cease after a specific date). Also, the bill will protect over 2,200 makes of hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns, so as to preserve legal hunting rights. The overall goal is to “dry up the supply of assault weapons over time.” These massacres don’t seem to stop, the California Democrat grieved, listing the infamous rampages of past years known by the name of their locations—Aurora, Tucson, Newton, and Virginia Tech. “We should be outraged at how easy it is for attackers to get hold of the semi-automatic weapons or large-capacity magazines used in those slaughters,” Feinstein said at the event at the U.S. Capitol that she had organized. I completely agree with Feinstein and believe it is high time to pass the Feinstein Bill and reinstate a ban on assault weapons. When dealing with this issue, many argue that even though a ban will be instituted, people will still be able to acquire assault weapons through smuggling or illegal trading; thus, any ban on these firearms would be ineffective. But statistics prove otherwise. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was successful at reducing crime and getting military-style weapons off the streets and out of criminal’s hands. Since the ban expired, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 450 injured by these weapons. The Justice Department found that the use of assault weapons in crime had declined by more than two-thirds nine years after the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban took effect. With these glaring facts, who can still argue that the Feinstein Bill will not be effective? Opponents of the bill also argue that the Second Amendment forbids the government from this type of limit on weapon ownership by citizens. They argue that American citizens have the legal right to own guns and rifles for hunting purposes and self-defense. However, a reasonable ban on military-style assault weapons presents no threat
to the constitutional right to bear arms. Rifles capable of firing multiple rounds automatically or semi-automatically exceed the reasonable needs of hunters and other gun enthusiasts. How can someone hunt with military firearms? Why would someone even try? If you kill something with these powerful weapons, you won’t have meat left to eat anyway. And semi-automatic weapons step outside the line of self-defense. In no situation is it necessary to fire that many rounds. People have to understand that military-style assault weapons are not for the everyday purposes of common men; these guns require proper training to be used both effectively and efficiently and are also made specifically for combat purposes. Thus, gun lobbyists are missing the main point of the Feinstein Bill and the assault weapons ban. It is not about constraining the rights of American citizens. “It’s not about keeping bad guns out of the hands of good people,” as Vice President Joe Biden said. “It’s about keeping all guns out of the hands of bad people.” Continuing bloodshed on our nation’s streets—with dozens of people dying every day from gun violence—should be more than enough evidence to get an assault weapons ban, like the Feinstein Bill, passed. As Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, “If the slaughter of 20 babies does not capture and hold your attention, then I give up because I don’t know what else will.”
Arts & Entertainment Join Us at The Bee
By Jenny Baretto Staff Writer Can you spell lugubrious or even just crayon? Join us as Archbishop Mitty presents William Finn’s irresistible musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and you might learn how to spell these and more. It seems that this spelling bee is still missing a couple of its star contestants, and you could be one of them. At each performance, four audience members will be selected to participate in the bee. But beware, the competition is tough this year! Don’t let their looks deceive you—these kids mean business. They all want one thing: to win the bee and move on to compete at Nationals. There’s only one question: who will be crowned this year’s champion? To find out, come see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, playing at the Kinkade Theatre March 15-23.
By Amy Bayliss Winner Creative Writing Inter-Club Contest If you could see yourself through my eyes... If you had vision like a mirror... If your reflection was all you saw... Would you fill your own outline? Would you be the same shape as your shadow? Would you see yourself right Or would you simply pass without sight Like ships in the night? If you could see yourself through my lens Put on my shades Just for a day Would you be a stranger Or an old best friend Would the fringe of my eyelashes shield you from view Or would you see a person unknown to you If the waters of life would stand still for a moment ... If my sleepy eyes were to be filled with your fire Would you see a truthful being Or a liar... ? Would the ripple of reality reveal who you are Or would you drive away ... Somewhere very far Would you be ashamed Or would you be bashful Would you stand like a lion With the power of Zion Strong as a mountain As wistful as the wind
By Isabella DiLisio A&E Editor In the cafeteria, senior Matt Ray is like any other student, relaxing and chatting during his off period. But what separates him from every other student in Aymar is his talent for rapping: under the pseudonym Kaligraphy, Matt has released multiple self-produced freestyles and remixes, and will soon drop a new mix-tape. Luckily, Mitty’s own rap prodigy had a few minutes to spare in order to tell The Monarch a bit more about his music. BD: How did you start rapping? MR: My neighbors always freestyled whenever we would hang out. One day I was talking about how cool it was, so they told me that I should try it. I did, and…I sucked. But I liked it, so I kept practicing, and eventually I got better. BD: Who are your biggest influences? MR: Immortal Technique and Biggie Smalls are probably my top favorites. I like Immortal Technique because he stands for something, and he’s not scared to show his opinion. My main motivation has been to actually meet him in person. Biggie Smalls is always fun to listen to because his style is so unique. BD: You have some very powerful lyrics, like the ones in “Otherside Remix.” What message do you try to convey? MR: I’ve noticed that people are always trying to express how they feel inside, but not everyone can do it. The one thing I try to do is express other people’s feelings for them, so that when they listen to my music, it feels like they’re getting something off of their chests and their stress is relieved. BD: What has been the best moment of your career thus far? MR: Probably freestyling with Hopsin. He pulled me onstage at one of his shows, gave me a microphone, and let me go off for about 30 seconds. Interested in Kaligraphy? Check out his latest song “No Holdin’ Back” among others on YouTube by searching Uncommon Individuals.
Would you finally reveal your disguise Only if you could see yourself through my eyes
Coming Next Year... Chicago: You’ve heard the sultry music before, I know it. Girls in scandily clad outfits, slowly singing, “Where the gin is cold, and the piano’s hot”… “It’s all. That. Jazz”. Right? It’s daring. It’s sexy. There is murder, mayhem, and jazz. The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Like plays? Sorry! Mitty is changing things up next year and doing three musicals! So, instead of a winter play, the fantastic musical Drood is coming to the Kinkade next winter. Drood is a fun retelling of Charles Dickens’ infamous last work that he never finished. Bringing back the magic of early theater, there are girls as boys, mystery galore, and…you decide the ending. Spamalot: Are you a fan of Monty Python? Do you spend your days quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Do you like to laugh? Well then most definitely see Spamalot, the musical, spoofical, onstage version of Monty Python. There are dancing knights, and singing lake ladies, and, of course, the Knights who say Ni.
By AnnaLiese Burich A&E Editor You’ve loved seeing your favorite Mitty actors in the Kinkade Theater, but recently, many took to a new stage at the Stage Theater Company in San Jose. On January 26, eleven Mitty students performed in the First Annual Bay Area High School Musical Theatre Showcase (BAHSMT, for short). Run by San Jose Top Honors, which also hosts an awards show in June, this showcase is the latest creation to celebrate high school musical theatre. Essentially a musical review, the best songs in musical theater were performed by thirty local students. In a testament to Mitty’s performing arts prowess, over a third were from our school – more than of any other high school. Maddie Ballard, Trent Brunngraber, Barbara Camara, Monica Goff, Will Haubl, Katherine Huage, Myha’la Herrold, Annie Hunt, Jamie Landrum, Sharon Lita, and Mandy McDonell, all nailed some of the most difficult songs from Broadway, from Jamie Landrum’s sassy “I Just Wanna Be a Star” (Nunsense), to Sharon Lita’s haunting “Moonfall” (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), to finally Katherine Huage’s showstopping “One Step,” from a brand-new musical written by director Spencer Williams. If these kids can be stars in the Bay, there is no doubt that they can be stars in the big time – so remember that they came from Mitty, just like you! Wanna see them rock your socks off? Look up “’13 BAHSMT Showcase Highlights” on YouTube!
February 2013 • Arts & Entertainment
And the Oscar Goes To...
By Mitch Hanson, Chitra Marti, and AnnaLiese Burich Staff Writer & A&E Editors
Every February, we turn our attention to the Academy Awards. We anticipate, we speculate, we deliberate these Awards that define modern cinema. Movie lovers, or maybe just lovers of Bradley Cooper watch with excitement, wondering who will win big and who will go home. But of all the awards that night, only one truly matters: The Academy Award for Best Picture. Here’s our take on the nominees:
Why it should win: It is an inspiring movie that will make you proud to be an American; the script alone uses suspense masterfully to create an overall riveting experience. Why it shouldn’t: The Academy can promote only so much jingoism and xenophobia while still staying politically correct.
Why it should win: It is a heart-wrenching, insightful look at the dangers true love faces when presented with tragedy that everyone – children, parents, and grandparents – can relate to on some level. Why it shouldn’t: After choosing a silent French film last year, we wonder if the Academy can stand to choose yet another non-American film without losing face.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Why it should win: This movie is raw, slightly strange, and magical; the brave hope and imagination of both characters and the actors shine through. Why it shouldn’t: The upsetting balance between imagination and reality – putting children in alarming situations for the sake of dramatic effect and selling tickets – will undoubtedly alienate some members of the Academy.
Silver Linings Playbook
Why it should win: The movie has a happily-ever-after for its characters who had been lost in superstition and hallucination, providing some much-needed hope to audiences. Why it shouldn’t: Choosing a movie that is, in essence, a romantic comedy, could call the Academy’s reputation into question.
Let’s Go Downton Tonight
By Marian Wyman Staff Writer By most rights, there is no reason that a high school student should enjoy the PBS drama that is Downton Abbey. However, the brilliant acting, lavish costumes, and engaging, historical plot make this television series more than just a great show – Downton Abbey is mesmerizing. After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, we watch the Crawley family be flung into drama of World War I and the unprecedented lifestyle changes that follow. In this chaos, their Downton Abbey is a safe haven. It is where the Crawley family resides with glamorous dinners and fancy parties, and it is where millions of viewers seek refuge each Sunday night. Nearly eight million people tuned in to watch Downton’s season three premiere, so why should you? The acting: From the wide-eyed kitchen hand Daisy (Sophie McShera), to the hilarious matriarch Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith), each character constantly evolves. Enduring terminal illness, unrequited love, and financial stress, they are welldrawn and extremely relatable. When heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) finally feels true happiness after his return from World War I, it brings you to tears; when the Dowager Countess makes a snide remark about Lady Sybil’s brashly independent lifestyle, you die laughing. The acting is subtle, nuanced, and pure. In each episode, the characters come to life and grow. The costumes: No matter what Downton review you may read, I assure you that they will reference the costuming. To put it simply, the show is just pleasing to watch. Each scene boasts a host of new and gorgeous women’s period clothing, often ornately beaded dresses for a simple dinner at home. The clothing standards are clearly expressed when Cora Crawley’s mother tells Lord Grantham and Matthew, who showed up in black ties and no tails to a white tie event, that they were “dressed for a barbecue.” Quite interestingly, Ralph Lauren’s fall collection is said to have been themed around Downton Abbey! Without a doubt, the spectacular costuming is truly inspiring. The history: Downton Abbey is not just a story about beautiful people and limitless luxury. Its central themes reflect the universality of drastic historical changes—Europe’s many struggles of the early 1920s are mirrored by changes in the proud Downton estate. World War I wiped out an entire generation of men; women who worked as nurses and aides during the war had become empowered to take greater leadership roles in society; economic turmoil in and around Europe caused mass poverty and disorder. At first look, the Crawley family could be viewed as elitist and superficial. A closer examination, however, reveals a more dimensional family. Open yourself up to Downton Abbey: get it on Netflix, watch it on Hulu, or turn it on next Sunday night. While it may seem like a show fit for another generation, it truly has something for everyone, from the fiercely passionate characters to the intriguing historical context.
Zero Dark Thirty:
Why it should win: As the first woman to win Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow can count on the Academy to be fans of her foray into the dark side of modern warfare. Why it shouldn’t: Perhaps more muckraker than whistleblower, we question if a new genre of war film has taken over.
Why it should win: History comes to life in this film, particularly through Daniel Day-Lewis’ mastery of Abraham Lincoln’s persona. Why it shouldn’t: Those who are politically uninterested or uninformed will find themselves lost in Spielberg’s hagiographic representation of one of history’s most debated figures.
Why it should win: Combining western, historical drama, and comedy gives Tarantino the perfect setting for dark humor and political commentary. Why it shouldn’t: Its comedy might be seen as lacking in the seriousness required of an “Oscar-worthy film.”
Why it should win: The acting (particularly Anne Hathaway’s), singing, set, and costume design were all on key. Why it shouldn’t: Director Tom Hooper’s need to shove themes down the audience’s throats was only exacerbated by the close-up cinematography.
Life of Pi
Why it should win: The music and special effects were admirable, and the Academy is known for considering the details that set the scene. Why it shouldn’t: Then again, we can only take so much of a kid stranded in the middle of the ocean with a tiger.
More Pretty, Less Little, Still Lying
By Harika Janjam Staff Writer The third season of ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars continues to captivate its viewers. The show’s main plot consists of four best friends who receive threatening texts from an anonymous person: A. In the third season, we know there is an ‘A’ Team, composed of Hanna’s ex-BFF Mona, and now Spencer’s boyfriend Toby. We also know that Toby is a member of the ‘A Team.’ Mona returns to school and the Liars continue to receive text messages as before. Although loved ones of each of the Liars try to protect them, ‘A’ is always one step ahead. So far, major points of this season have been Mona returning to school, the discovery that Ally may have been pregnant before she was murdered, Aria’s dad perhaps being a murderer, and Spencer learning that Toby is also an ‘A.’ Although only one episode this season has been truly powerful, it foreshadows more excitement. There is a 100% guarantee that the rest of the season will not leave viewers disappointed. Pretty Little Liars never fails to stay fresh and leave us asking for more.
“Recreational” Television 101 By Shannon Lam and Elexis Breitbart Staff Writer
On December 14, 2008, America was overcome with sadness by the departure of Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live. There would be no more impersonations of Hillary Clinton, Madonna, or Dakota Fanning; all seemed lost. But, little did we know that five months later she would make a comeback on a prime time television show: Parks and Recreation. With eight Emmy award nominations, this spectacularly smart and funny TV show highlights the hilarity and crazy situations that the workers of the Pawnee Park’s Department find themselves in throughout their normal day-to-day grind. Filled with awkward relationships, ridiculous situations, and an amazing cast, there is no way that anyone can begin watching and not get hooked. Well-known actors such as Amy Poehler, Rob Lowe, and Aziz Ansari hit a home run every time, and up-and-coming stars like Chris Pratt and Audrey Ludgate knock it out of the ballpark. Although it has a huge fanbase, ratings have fluctuated over the years, and Parks and Recreation is repeatedly on the cusp of cancellation. With 30 Rock and The Office on their farewell seasons, it’s time for Parks and Rec to dominate. Given its impeccable cast, unparalleled writing, and hilarious episodes, Parks and Recreation is the perfect show to watch.
Arts & Entertainment • February 2013
MONARCH CRITICS By Sindhu Giri Staff Writer
By Gaby Sant’Anna and Monica Goff Staff Writer
Craving a scrumptious plate of exotic food? Or do you simply want to step out of your comfort zone? Thai Spoons is just the place to satisfy your adventurous whims with authentic Thai food that will keep you coming back for more. Located in Sunnyvale, this familyrun restaurant is one of the best-kept secrets for those seeking premier Thai cuisine. Although the drab building might not seem so special, the flashing sign will tell you otherwise. Upon entry, your senses are flooded with dazzling, golden-framed pictures surrounding the walls and a mouthwatering aroma of coconut curries and chili sauce from the kitchen. The gracious family then welcomes you in, and you instantly feel like part of the community. As you sit down, you notice that each table has four containers filled with alluring and peculiar smells, ranging from spicy, pickled jalapeños to pungent, fiery chili sauce. Although your instinct might tell you otherwise, trying these condiments will be your first step towards an exotic adventure. They can accentuate your main meals, dazzle appetizers, or even be eaten by themselves (but only if you can really handle spicy!). Although the menu might seem intimidating with its varied assortment of dishes (many of which you can’t even pronounce) there are a few no-fail dishes: • A great appetizer to start with is the Satay, pieces of chicken seasoned with spices and grilled on skewers. These are great even when taken home and are perfect for serving at parties. • Gai Ped Ped is a superb chicken dish with chunks of wok-fried chicken, served over a savory chili sauce. That sauce will make you want to lick the plate. • Vegetarians fear not! You too get a wide choice of dishes, including the Garlic String Beans: an exquisite dish of crunchy string beans combined with caramelized garlic to create the perfect a-ha moment! The perfect combination of delectable food, appealing ambiance, and compassionate staff will keep you coming back to Thai Spoons over and over!
In their last performance before the Grammy Awards Ceremony, fun. (yes, with lowercase letters and a period) spent an evening in the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA, with a sizable and excited crowd. Composed of lead singer Nate Ruess, pianist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dost, and guitarist Jack Antonoff, along with their three touring bandmates, fun. performed an exhilarating and engaging show. Opening the concert was Andrew McMahon, who recently went solo after successful runs in the bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Clearly, McMahon was ecstatic to be performing for such a large and excited crowd. Accompanied by various instrumentalists, McMahon managed to excite the entire audience, an impressive feat as the majority of the audience did not know his songs. McMahon took a moment to thank the audience and congratulate his friends and fellow artists in fun. on their Grammy nominations. He opened and closed with songs from Jack’s Mannequin, “Bruised” and “Dark Blue,” respectively. Judging by the reactions of many audience members, McMahon earned support from many who had not previously heard him. fun. opened their full-length set with “Out On The Town” from their sophomore album, Some Nights, and continued their set with songs from both that and their debut album, Aim and Ignite. Some highlights of the night included “All the Pretty Girls,” a poppy crowd-pleaser from their first album; an emotional rendition of “The Gambler,” also from Aim; “What the F***,” a new song only ever performed live; and an extremely well received “Some Nights,” the sincere and rollicking anthem that serves as the namesake for their second album. The entire set was high-energy, and it was accentuated by exciting lighting and amusing audience interaction that kept everyone captivated, as if the music itself wasn’t enough. Overall, the concert was more than satisfying and, if you’ll pardon the pun, a lot of fun. fun. is nominated for seven Grammy Awards and will be performing at the award show. They return to the Bay Area September 6, when they will be playing at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.
In a Nutshell
By Emily Malig Staff Writer Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies is the story of R (Nicholas Hoult), who forms a peculiar bond with Julie (Teresa Palmer), inspiring a sudden change in the zombie apocalyptic world. Warm Bodies is not just “Twilight with zombies.” Instead, it embraces the quirky awkwardness of adolescent romance, at times with unbelievably cheesy moments. What Warm Bodies does is successfully deliver the idea that what makes us human is our ability to love and feel for one another, as the only thing distinguishing zombies is their incapability of emotion. The idea of zombies trying to “cure” themselves by remembering what it’s like to love is kind of touching, in an odd way.
By Amanda Lahey Staff Writer Who thinks turning the beloved Brothers Grimm characters, Hansel and Gretel, into witch hunters with a slightly incestuous relationship is a good idea? No one. The title says it all: these middle-aged siblings have been hunting down evil witches ever since they narrowly escaped the one with a candy house. Plot twist: Hansel has diabetes. Bigger plot twist: an oversized heroic troll has a crush on Gretel. I guess the moral is to not abandon your children in the woods or they will become crazy, foul-mouthed, gun-wielding hunters who speak like sassy teenage girls. Not even the cool special effects or the beautiful Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner can save this movie from epic failure.
By Camille Contreras Staff Writer Stand Up Guys, details a pair of aging con-men that want to “get the gang back together” for a final hoorah before Doc (Christopher Walken) has to finish his last assignment: killing his best friend and partner in crime, Val (Al Pacino). Pacino as the witty and sarcastic Valentine is a fantastic scene-stealer, and Walken is brilliant as usual. Alan Arkin breathes life into the film as one of Val and Doc’s old friends who leads them on a car chase. Stand Up Guys is like The Godfather, with a bit of The Hangover thrown in just for fun. The humor was inconsistent, but supported by the chemistry between cast members. If you are a Pacino or Walken fan, you will most likely love the film, but if not, skip it!
By Isabella DiLisio A&E Editor Justin Bieber does it again, captivating and mesmerizing his loyal fans with his smooth and soulful voice, showcasing raw talent that otherwise would have been outshined by his upbeat and poppy songs. Songs like “Beauty and A Beat” and “She Don’t Like the Lights” are prime examples of this, as they slow down the tempo of the songs a bit and allow listeners to enjoy the lyrics rather than the dance beats. Bieber also includes three bonus tracks on this album that were not featured on the original Believe, giving fans even more to enjoy with “Yellow Raincoat,” “Nothing Like Us,” and “I Would.” His care for his fans and passion for his music shines through with Believe Acoustic.
Although movies involving animals are common, Dolphin Tale is one movie that truly stands out. Unlike most, this tale is based on a true story. Winter, the main character, is a real-life bottlenose dolphin that lost her tail after being tangled in a crab trap, and had to be fitted with a prosthetic. In the film, Winter essentially plays herself, giving a heartwarming and natural performance of an injured animal that elicited much empathy from people all around the globe. By Lina Lalwani and Kerri Yen Staff Writers
In Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse, the main equine star is Finders Key, a thoroughbred gelding breed in California. He, along with thirteen other horses, played the role of Joey, as he grew from a colt to a mature horse. From his ability to portray emotions that a typical horse could not, Finder was chosen to act in the most intense scenes.
Marley and Me
Almost everybody is familiar with the troublesome but lovable dog Marley in Marley and Me. But, did you know that one of the dogs that acted out this playful pup was from a rescue center? Rudy was a rescue dog from Hillsborough County with only 24 hours to live before euthanization. Luckily, his current owners took him in before it was too late.
By Justin Tam Staff Writer
The hairy, or horror, frog intentionally breaks its own bones to turn out a wicked set of cat-like claws. Even though they are hairy, however, the frogs form a tasty treat, as Cameroon locals spear and roast them for their meals. Camponotus saundersi soldiers, or Malaysian Ants,, have large glands full of poison inside their bodies. When they sense threat, they contract their abdominals, causing the glands on their bodies to explode and spray poison.
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By Sanja Staf
The axolotl is a type of salamander, native to Mexico. They have amazing regenerative abilities - if injured, the axolotl will heal and regenerate perfectly without scarring.
By Sydney Chiu and Rose Le Staff Writers
It’s no secret that animals are smarter than people assume. There are many stories about animals performing extraordinary tricks, but some animals seem to have supernatural powers, such as predicting death, disasters, and even sports games. Oscar the Cat: Oscar, a pet at Steere House Nursing Home, is claimed to be able to predict the death of patients. On multiple occasions, he has interacted with patients during their last few hours. Described as the cat with a “sixth sense,” it is said that Oscar may have been able to detect something called the ‘sweet smell of death.’ Paul the Octopus: During the 2010 World Cup, Paul became famous for correctly predicting the outcomes of Germany’s national soccer team. When presented with 2 boxes of soft mussels, one with the German flag, the other with Spain’s, Paul chose the box with the Spanish flag as a prediction of their 1-0 win. Paul ended up predicting the correct team winning for every game through his feeding habits, even foreseeing Spain’s success against the Netherlands in the World Cup Finals.
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By Cathie Deane Staff Writer
It’s a well-known saying that a dog is man’s best friend, and it’s no mystery that cats love to lounge in the sun. But did you know that dog noses are so unique that they can identify a dog? Check out these interesting facts about your pets! • A cat can make over one hundred different sounds! A dog, however, can only make about ten. • Cats can see very well because their eyes actually reflect light! Their eyes are almost like built-in flashlights. • A dog’s shoulder blade is actually detached from the rest of its body. This allows the dog greater running flexibility. • Cats are very good hunters. To limit the sound they make with their feet, their back legs step in the same exact place as their front legs to make them even stealthier. • Think basketball players can jump? Get this; a cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound! • Dogs are about as smart as a two or three year old child. They can recognize 150-200 words, including signals and hand motions.
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Jasmine Tsai Staff Writer
THE VACANTI MOUSE By Sarah Tsou Staff Writer
If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a person loses a body part—say, an ear—the Vacanti mouse is your answer. Developed in 1997 by Dr. Charles Vacanti, these hairless mice are specially engineered to lack an immune system—all the better for their roles as live hosts for the growth of human body parts. The choice of growing ears is not random—the outer, cartilaginous portion of the human ear is among the simplest organs of the human anatomy. And the procedure for growing these artificial ears is remarkably simple: •
First: creating the “ear” mold by shaping special biodegradable fibers into a “scaffold,” which can be molded to match the size and shape of the intended recipient’s own original ears. • Next, cartilage cells are “seeded” into the scaffold, covering the biodegradable fibers. • The final step is the most complicated: surgically implanting the scaffold onto the Vacanti mouse’s back. Here is where the immune-deficiency comes into play—if the mouse’s immune system were to recognize the new cartilage cells as “foreign,” the mouse would die. • Once this final step is passed, Voilà! The mouse’s blood nourishes the cartilage cells, which eventually replace the biodegradable fibers, forming a perfect replica of a human ear. The extraordinary Vacanti mouse joins tissue-engineered skin as one of the first breakthroughs in the engineering of human anatomy, providing for victims of accidents and cancer. Researchers hope to soon develop lab-grown cartilage and bone, as well as blood vessels, cardiac valves, and muscle tissues.
Have you ever wondered how a duckling recognizes its mother from the moment of its birth? Perhaps you’ve noticed how foals are accustomed to human touch? This psychological process, commonly known as imprinting, allows animals to acquire certain learned characteristics during a crucial period of time. Occurring during a sensitive period, and lasting anywhere from one day to several weeks, imprinting is irreversible—once an animal learns a certain characteristic, it becomes difficult for it to unlearn or forget about it. Imprinting also allows animals to identify other animals of their species, and certain behaviors may be more affected by imprinting than others. For example, certain bird species may choose their mate based on the resemblance to its mom. These factors all tie together to promote the survival of newborn animals, through development of learned behavior. So, the next time you happen to wander across a flock of ducklings following its mother, you can be assured that imprinting is at work. By Kenny Nguyen Staff Writer
Photography • February 2013
Lee Jeffries’ photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world.
Hannah Urrutia Why do you take pictures? I take pictures because I love to. I started with my first digital camera like everyone else and when I got really interested I bought a DSLR and it has grown from there with lenses, etc. I take pictures for fun and for art. How does photography as a hobby affect other parts of your life? Photography allows me to document all the other parts of my life, from sports to hanging out with friends to trips. Just to hang out, I bring my camera without the intent to take great photos but just keep the memories, but whenever my camera is with me, I am looking for the next photo to take. Interviewed by Amanda Le Staff Writer
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was an environmentalist known for photographing the American West.
Monarch Photography Medusa
Beyond The Lens
Inspired by the mythological gorgon, Medusa, this photograph depicts a girl lying on dark grass, her face framed by flowers, the texture contrasting the smoothness of her skin, much as scales mask the once beautiful face of Medusa. The side of her face adorned with flowers and jewelry is turned towards the camera, representing the part of Medusa she wants everyone to see: physically enhanced but contrasting with her natural beauty. The other side of her face—the side shrouded in shadow—is turned away from the lens, as if ashamed. This is the side of Medusa that is truly beautiful, unaltered by make-up, jewelry, or adornments. In a society that incessantly focuses on people’s imperfection, it is all too easy to try to overcompensate for these supposed flaws by concealing natural beauty with make-up and plastic. However, in the process, people become something they are not, and with every subtle alteration, they transform into something more resembling a monster—a gorgon. People should never be made to feel like they need hide their faces in shadows or masks.
Julia Borello Staff Writer
February 2013 • Photography
Page 11 Stephen Oachs is an award-winning photographer who captures rare moments of light and time.
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was a noted wilderness photographer and climber.
Justice Awareness Profiles in Justice
Spotlight on: Abhineet Walawalkar
Brianna Mims Staff Writer Many of us may be unsure as to what we would like to do in college or even life after college. To answer this large and significant question, senior Abhineet Walawalkar shows us that volunteering can be a helpful step in finding what it is you might want to do in life. How did you get involved with the Stanford Medical Center Department of Psychiatry? Abhineet heard about this volunteer opportunity over the summer. Though he was uncertain as to whether he should spend his summer volunteering there, he soon realized how well the opportunity linked with his desired career. Abhineet then had to go through a short series of conversations and meetings with the department directors for consideration. After reviewing, Abhineet was chosen for a spot. What did you do at the Department of Psychiatry? Abhineet was a research assistant who helped out in studies of autistic patients. In his group, small doses of potentially effective medicine were administered to the patients. Abhineet was responsible for scoring the reports and tests that were conducted both before and after the dosage was given. By using this information, he would then determine if the application of medicine resulted in any changes in the patient. What did you take away from your experience and what do you recommend others do when exploring volunteer options? Abhineet mentions that he learned about the new advances in the field of medicine and was surprised to find out that various medical procedures we take for granted today were not available twenty years ago. “It also felt great to help out with this research and get an idea of what is involved in the ever-expanding medical field,” says Abhineet. Additionally, he learned even more from the other members of his group who were not only interested in their work but open to questions as well. Because of his experience, Abhineet recommends volunteering at a place that connects with your interests, especially the interests that you would like to pursue after high school. “Once you dive deeper and experience more in that field, you can figure out whether or not it is the right choice for you.”
M.A.P. Corner Mitty Advocacy Project Update Laura Georgiev Staff Writer Human trafficking: a modern form of slavery. For the past month, MAP has been working with the Bay Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition along with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren who is actively involved in addressing this issue. Noted as one of the biggest events of the year for the organizaton, on February 2, 2013, MAP hosted their long-awaited Youth Advocacy Leadership Conference (see full story on Page 1). Here students were involved with hands-on training workshops focusing on how to successfully work with both state and federal legislators. Through the conference, students from Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Diocese of San Jose area were taught how to develop leadership programs at their own school. The Mitty Advocacy Project is so grateful that guest speaker Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren joined us to help with the workshop and speak with students. The conference was an overall success, teaching students how to work effectively with legislators on issues in both their communities and around the world.
May the Best Process Win Rehabilitation vs. Retribution
Riya Dange had an 18% reduction in the size of their amygdalae. Staff Writer With this physiological limitation in mind, it is no Wasting not a second, you hurry over to where wonder that retribution has been ineffective in deteryou first saw it. As you approach the fallen shape by ring criminals. In fact, according the California Dethe side of the road, you realize that it is a dog. Its wide partment of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in 2011, eyes gaze at you tragically – the way only a puppy 65.1% of Californian criminals continued committing can. Suddenly, you see traces of white foam around its crimes after their first prison sentence. mouth and stop short. Surely the rabid dog must have Clearly, retribution is not making an appreciable bitten someone. Keeping your distance, you take out dent in crime. Now, we must ask ourselves: what your phone. Which number are you going to dial: the would have an impact? pound or the animal hospital? Once again, science points us directly to the Let me rephrase that question: if a person were answer – rehabilitation. One 2005 study examined to commit a crime, would the impact of cognitive you choose to send them behavioral therapy (CBT), straight to jail, or would you a form of rehabilitation, on help them? criminals. At first glance, the anCBT involves working swer seems obvious. Why with psychologists to idencan’t we just stick them in tify distortions in thinking jail and forget about them? and rectify them with posiThat is precisely the princitive behavioral changes. ple behind the U.S. criminal The study found that CBT justice system. Also known reduced relapse into crime as “retribution,” this policy from 25-50%. is guided by the motto “the Clearly, rehabilitation punishment fits the crime.” is a method that actually However, recent sciworks. Through a compreentific research has shown hensive, humane method of that the idea behind retribucombating crime, it lessens tion – or “the pound” – is the chances that a criminal An MRI scan of a psychopathic brain. inherently flawed. Prison will reoffend. is supposed to serve as a deterrent for criminals. The So what’s the catch? question is: does it really achieve the desired effect? Opponents of rehabilitation argue that it is more What a retributive system does not take into ac- costly than retribution. However, statistics from the count is the fact that the psychology of a criminal is Legislative Analyst’s Office prove that this is simply often different from that of a normal person. not true. In California, it costs about $47,000 per year A study by Dr. Adrian Raine, chair of the De- to keep each criminal in prison. Rates vary among partment of Criminology at the University of Penn- states, but on average, each state pays a whopping sylvania, tracked 1,795 children from ages 3 to 23. $52 billion annually on prisons. Contrast this with the Of these children, 137 became criminals. According much lower costs of rehabilitation. to tests done on the children, these future criminals The Honor Program, a microcosmic “test” of the demonstrated an inability to connect actions to fright- rehabilitation system, was implemented in the Caliening consequences. Likewise, when they grew up, fornia State Prison of Los Angeles County in 2000. In they were not able to fear prison as a consequence of its first year, The Honor Program saved Californian committing crimes, therefore rendering the retributive taxpayers over $200,000. system meaningless. Imagine if such a rehabilitation-based system Furthermore, another brain study published in were implemented on a nationwide scale. The savings the September 2009 Archives of General Psychiatry over the years would be enormous. detailed the connection between antisocial personality Now that you have been introduced to the two disorder often found in criminals and the amygdala options on the table, let’s wrap this up with a quick in the brain. comparison. Retribution: inhumane, ineffective, and The amygdala, in the words of Dr. Adrian Raine, costly. Rehabilitation: humane, highly effective, and is “the seat of emotion. Psychopaths lack emotion. relatively economical. So what do you say? Since They lack empathy, remorse, guilt.” Indeed, the study you now have all the facts, which would you choose found that many children who later became criminals to dial: the hospital or the pound?
Outcries Against Assault
Nikita Dandia and Laura Cervantes Staff Writers “I was raped when I was a teenager.” About 10.5% of all high school teenagers can say this. However, recent events have catapulted this issue of personal safety to the masses. On Dec. 16, 2012, while we were preparing for finals and waiting in earnest anticipation for winter break, an Indian woman died after being attacked and sexually assaulted on a bus in New Delhi. Fighting for her life at the Delhi hospital, the Indian woman was unaware that a crowd assembled in her defense demanding justice. The protests, which started at New Delhi’s India Gate, the President’s palace and the Prime Minister’s residence, held the capital of India hostage. The young protesters demanded the death penalty for the offenders and were furious at the government’s refusal to address the mistreatment of women. As a result of the case, renewed attention has been focused on the topic of sexual assault across the world. Demonstrators in India have pleaded with the government and the Indian people to reevaluate their overall treatment of women. In the United States, citizens have demanded stricter prosecutions and that sexual assault be treated as a more serious crime. In Latin America, global pressure and threats to tourism have called for law enforcement to crack down on various sexual assault cases. Some argue that the way to change this reality is to address a “rape culture” that is subconsciously incorporated into our culture. Rape culture is the perpetuation of rape in our society through media, jokes, jargon, and even laws. We normalize sexual assault every time we watch a wise-cracking comedian make a joke that preys on victims of this horrendous crime, or when we say things like “that exam raped me.” It’s this lack of self-awareness that, in part, prevents us from stopping this heinous act once and for all.
February 2013 • Justice Awareness
Food Justice Program Making a Full Circle with Food Catherine Gong and Rasika Raghavan Staff Writers
Last year, Mrs. Fenker introduced a unique service opportunity to Mitty: a Food Justice Community Service program. This unique service opportunity allows students to walk through the cycle that food takes - growing, harvesting, and eventually serving and eating. The whole idea of this program is to make a full circle with food. The program includes two farms: Veggielution and Full Circle Farm, both of which use organic and sustainable farming methods, and a third organization called Village Harvest. Veggielution sells fresh produce from a farm stand at reduced prices, giving families who cannot afford to pay full price dignity by providing them with healthy food. Full Circle Farm similarly has a vision of a future with local, sustainable farming, and wishes to teach the future generation of these methods. They deliver their produce to charities such as Second Harvest Food Bank. People who have full fruit trees and do not need all of the fruit can give Village Harvest a call, and their house will be added to the schedule. Village Harvest organizes drives throughout the Bay Area, where volunteers go into people’s yards and pick fruit, which will be sent to food banks. Lastly, during the Spring semester, students will head to Innvision, where they will serve the food to people, completing the circle. Mrs. Fenker hopes this opportunity will “help students think about where their food comes from, where it goes, and how fortunate we are to have what we have.” The Food Justice Community Service program is a special and fulfilling way to help your community while completing Christian Service hours. It is a year round program, so if you are interested, simply email Mrs. Fenker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humanitarian Demining Arjun Balasingam Saff Witer Countries like Cambodia, Angola, and Mozambique are still experiencing the aftermath of wars that ended nearly 30 years ago; landmines—remnants from these wars—remain as deadly reminders of the past. The problem is compounded by the fact that these landmines were planted randomly during the war, and the current generations of people living in the affected areas do not know where these landmines exist. Demining efforts have been underway, but it is estimated that it will take many decades to finish this job, because tens of the millions of landmines remain buried in the affected countries. A humanitarian effort has been launched to accelerate the pace of demining and to raise the awareness of this problem worldwide. Currently, advanced military technology, which attempts to detect landmines, exists. However, such technology is expensive. Its use requires a great deal of technical knowledge and training, which is not feasible for people in underprivileged countries like Cambodia. As a result, new organizations have arisen, such as Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD), which was started by Aki Ra. Aki Ra has been recognized internationally for his efforts to start the demining movement in Cambodia. He has saved many lives and started the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Center to care for children injured by landmines. Although he lacked funding to use demining-specific tools, Ra was determined to contribute significantly to this movement. Ra’s dedication earned him a place on CNN’s list of top ten Heroes for 2010. This organization has trained a group of 25 people to work fulltime on clearing landmines in high density areas. These workers use inexpensive metal-detectors in their work, but due to their training they are able to work safely. Despite this, aid workers believe that better training is necessary. However, conventional methods of training are not effective in this setting because many of these workers are not used to reading manuals or learning from presentations. This has prompted some researchers affiliated with Stanford University to launch a startup called Red Lotus Technologies, which uses emerging ideas from fields such as cognitive science and human-computer-interaction to develop virtual hands-on training programs. For now, the threat of mines is still at large for many past war zones. But these grassroot movements show great promise in the demining effort.
Natali Knight Staff Writer During numerous commutes to Menlo Park via Caltrain, my dad has become acquainted with a group of middle-aged adults with disabilities headed for work in the same Tyco Electronics complex. Upon inquiring, he discovered that these men and women are employees of Hope services, a non-profit organization with sites throughout the Bay Area that has provided job training, counseling, and community living opportunities for people with developmental disabilities for over 50 years. Cathy works for the organization and is a supervisor of thirty adults with disabilities who come five days a week from 8:30-2:30 to fill the company’s daily order of spools for wiring and tubing. She said that the group used to work in Santa Clara assembling and collecting toys, but ten years ago, an executive from Tyco invited them to join their campus after he, “took a tour of our workshop and saw how we ran our job and were very impressed with how well our clients performed their duties.” Making this product gives thirty adults a place to belong in the community where they can feel pride in their hard work and contribution.
Our clients love doing it,” she said, “they love telling people they work at Tyco and talking about their job.” She also said that the men and women treat each other like they are family; they have pride in their job and it shows. Cathy has worked with Hope services for almost 30 years, helping these wonderful people. On Hope’s website, the program discloses that its foundation was laid in 1952 when twelve concerned parents of preschoolers with mental handicaps banded together intent on creating a better life of opportunity and involvement for their children. Their one-room school house in San Jose grew to now provide services for 2,500 people in five counties: everything from interview practice and resumé building for teenagers and adults, to afterschool child care, to senior recreational activities. Through all the years they have promoted the philosophy of, “Helping people with developmental disabilities to be valued and participating members of their communities.” Hope services certainly has a place for any Mitty volunteer to do Christian Service hours if they are interested in helping those with disabilities and like to make people smile!
Syria: Violence Escalates as Negotiations Are Suspended Leanna Syrimis Staff Writer Recently, many refugees attempting to escape the proliferating violence in Syria have been seeking protection in natural caves in the Syrian mountainsides, particularly in the province of Idlib. These makeshift homes are often on perilous cliff-sides and still very close to the violence. Moreover, the homes are often rudimentary and resources are scarce. Yet, short of fleeing the country, these cliff-side shelters provide refuge to numerous families whose homes have been ruined in the recent raids and bombings. In total, over 2.5 million people have been displaced since the start of the Syrian civil war in March of 2011; additionally, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at least 670,000 refugees have fled Syria for surrounding countries including Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt. Not only are Syrians being forced out of the country due to escalating violence and warfare, but the conditions in refugee camps, with a lack of supplies and medical care, are nearly as perilous as the circumstances within the country itself. In Syria sniper attacks, violent murders, and bombings are common and have killed many civilians, causing much fear and chaos among the populace. Additionally, resources are so scarce that severe inflation has occurred (the equivalent of $.25 increasing to $1.25), and civilians are desperate; many risk their lives running through war zones simply to get a loaf of bread. Why are so many people being forced out of their homes in such shocking numbers and going to such extremes to survive? In short, the Syrian government is committing huge injustices against its people. Rather than concerning itself with the well-being of its people, Assad’s regime is only concerned with maintaining power. The administration claims to be protecting itself in deploying military force, saying that it is “not targeting innocent civilians.” Yet, this is simply a justification, considering the horrific abuse, death, and despair suffered by Syrian civilians at the hands of its own dictatorial government. After nearly two years of fighting, there is clearly a lack of dialogue and understanding between the government and the rebel groups, which is preventing negotiations from taking place and justice from being achieved in Syria. The government will not negotiate with the rebel “terrorists” unless Assad is guaranteed power, and the rebels will fight until Assad agrees to relinquish control. The death toll is at least at 60,000 and counting, according to the United Nations, and no end appears to be in sight.
Soars through WCAL Play By Jorge Rodriguez and Brian Consiglio Staff Writer It’s one thing to meet expectations, but Mitty’s Women’s Soccer team always seems to surpass them. In a phenomenal 2011-2012 campaign, the Monarchs completed a sweep, winning the WCAL league championship, WCAL playoff championship, and CCS championship in thrilling fashion. This season they are off to an incredible start again, with an undefeated 18-0-4 record overall, including a stellar 11-0-1 record in WCAL play. The team is clicking on all cylinders, and has quickly become a nightmare for opponents week in and week out. “The team is extremely close and has amazing chemistry this year,” explains senior midfielder Hannah Vane. “Every single one of us has played a big role in the team’s success but I think that our defense has especially stepped up and has been really solid.” On Senior Day, Vane and her fellow seniors were honored for all the effort, dedication, and heart they have put into the program over their four years at Mitty. The fans that braved the cold and fog that day were then treated to an impressive 2-0 home shutout victory over league rivals St. Ignatius. The game included a spectacular goal from senior striker Abi Leedeman, as well as another goal from sophomore Kaila Silveira. This victory was a perfect example of how the Monarchs have been able to get production out of everybody on the team. There is no doubt that the leadership and experience of the upperclassmen, combined with the emerging talent of young sophomores, has created a dynamic and explosive squad. Though most people only see the great play on the field, as Vane so accurately points out, “What most people do not see is how hard our team works every single practice. We have earned every single win so far this season and deserve our place at the top of the WCAL.” The program’s success year after year has definitely put a target on the team’s back, but long-time Head Coach J.T. Hanley understands how to prepare his team for all the opponents that are coming to knock the Monarchs off their throne. Instead of cracking under pressure, the Monarchs have embraced the moment and succeeded in clutch situ situations, a huge credit to the coaching staff and the team’s drive to always improve, even when it may seem like there is little left to work on. In the WCAL championship game, the Monarchs were nearly knocked off by underdog Valley Christian, when they fell behind 1-0 with only eighteen minutes left in regulation. Undeterred and focused, the Monarchs tied the game off a free kick delivered by senior Hannah Reed. On the receiving end, senior Hannah Vane headed the ball into the net with only three minutes remaining. The match then went to overtime, and after two overtime periods, the Monarchs were finally able to prevail in penalty kicks. In the deciding shootout, the Monarchs made their first three at attempts, but it was senior goalkeeper and UC Berkeley commit Madeline Julian who made the difference when she blocked Valley Junior Christian’s third attempt. Congratulations to the Women’s soccer team for Gabrielle their third straight WCAL title and good luck to them Matulich as they also look to defend their CCS title.
Men’s Basketball Ready for Postseason
By Mikayla Tejero Staff Writer Resilience. This is the word that defines the 2012-2013 Archbishop Mitty Men’s Basketball team. This year, the team’s season has been filled with highs and lows that just might help the team come together for a late playoff run. Last year, with seniors Jack Biebel, Neil Vranicar, and Thomas Peters, the team compiled a dominant overall record of 31-3 and garnered national recognition. The Monarchs finished 12th in the national rankings and 2nd in the state of California. This season, the Monarchs have a league record of 15-1 and an overall record of 22-5, as well as a national ranking of 46 and state ranking of 7. Although it was not quite the year the Monarchs had in mind, it has still been unquestionably successful. “Overall, I think we are continuing to get better but we need to improve our consistency on containing penetration on defense as well as improving our execution on offense,” said Head Coach Tim Kennedy. “We are winning a lot of games and put ourselves Senior in position to win league, but we need to become more Aaron Gordon consistent if we want to make a deep playoff run.” That run began when the Monarchs captured their first banner of the postseason with a WCAL title in a 69-50 domination of Serra. After Mitty knocked off Valley Christian and Riordan to reach the finals, Mitty battled through physical play and foul trouble to take down the Padres. It was a solid all-around performance as junior Connor Peterson led a balanced attack with a team-high 13 points. Given Coach Kennedy’s excellent track record with the team, there is no doubt that the Monarchs will keep pushing for more banners this postseason. Mitty will now look ahead to the newly implemented CCS Open Division as well as the CIF Open Division. With a talented and experienced squad, the Monarchs should be a team to fear in the late stretch of the postseason. The team gained valuable experience to build on early in the year when two of their games were featured on ESPN. In these two games, Mitty lost to Lone Peak High School of Highland, Utah (the #1 team in the nation) and Travis High School of Fort Bend County, Texas (the #33 team in the nation). About playing on such a big stage, senior Brandon Farrell said, “Although we didn’t have the outcomes we expected, it was a good experience to play on national television and I believe that it has prepared us for the games in March.” Farrell earned a respected postseason honor as a WCAL First-Team Selection, while fellow senior Aaron Gordon was named the WCAL Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. In reflecting on the team’s overall year, Gordon said, “It’s been challenging. We have so much talent but so many different personalities. But now we have put our differences aside and are ready to make a push.” That push started in the WCAL tournament and looks to end in the state finals.
Historic Season for Wrestling Squad
Photo courtesy of ProImage
Junior Shane Triantos dominates his opponent.
By Jesselyn Wang Sports Writer Building upon last year’s impressive WCAL performance, Mitty’s Wrestling team returned stronger than ever this season. Capturing second place in league, the Monarchs have improved tremendously under the dedicated leadership of Head Coach Chris Curry, whose motto this year is simple and straightforward: to “think about the ‘right now,’ not wait for next year.” This ambitious mentality has paved the way to victory for the team by boosting morale and creating a confident mindset. Led by a talented junior class, the team has succeeded in defeating both St. Francis and Bellarmine, two league rivals that the Monarchs have always struggled to compete with in the past. In late January, Mitty edged out St. Francis in an incredibly close meet by a score of 34-33. Carrying that momentum into their match against Bellarmine, the Monarchs posted a crushing score of 44-21 for their first win over the Bells in the history of the wrestling program. The team has been led by All-League WCAL Champions Daniel Mendoza, Chandler Ramirez, Alex Kerkeles, and Sean Shih, who make up the largest group of All-League Champions Mitty has ever had. The Monarchs have also received significant contributions from Second Team All-WCAL wrestlers Shane Triantos and
Bryan Puentes, who helped the team take 2nd place in Dual Meet competition, the team’s highest finish on the season. Aside from making history in terms of competitive play, the Monarchs are also making history on their own team. This year, two of the team’s newest members are female. Having female athletes on the wrestling team is a first for Mitty, and it is no surprise that both ladies are incredibly disciplined and fiercely competitive. When asked why she chose to join the team, sophomore Samantha Abad explains, “I wasn’t involved in any sport at Mitty, and wrestling seemed interesting.” In her first tournament, Samantha placed 6th in her weight class. With their consistent improvement, the Monarchs are sure to become a CCS powerhouse. Junior Shane Triantos notes that the team “is comprised of many powerful wrestlers that will be returning next year,” so they look forward to continuing their rise in league play. After many years of hard work and practice, senior Kyle Jackson adds that the team finally “holds an identity on the mat now that they have won.” The Monarchs will be sending 12 wrestlers to the CCS tournament, and with their confidence growing with every success, they look to dominate the competition.
February 2013 • Sports
Men’s Soccer Climbs National Rankings
By Jorge Rodriguez and Brian Consiglio Staff Writers
Maddie Salah: Dance Sensation By David Mace, Erik Chu, and Cameron Schott Sports Editors When most people think of hard-core training and conditioning, dance is probably not the first sport to come to mind. However, dance sensation Maddie Salah wants to break this stereotype. “Dance does not get enough credit as a sport,” Maddie stresses. “A dance competition is very much like any sports game, except dancers have to smile at the audience.” With the amount of preparation that goes into each performance, Maddie is right. Most of us know the Royals for their snazzy outfits and upbeat performances, but few of us see the countless hours of training that they put in each week. “Being on dance team is like being on a year-round sports team,” said Maddie. “We meet six times a week, during class and after school all year, and we have practice all summer. There’s no off-season in dance. But along with all the time spent together during practice comes a sense of community that only comes from working so hard to get better as a team.” All of this hard work has definitely paid off. Maddie has placed in the top five as a soloist at several regional competitions and was chosen as an assistant choreographer for several of Mitty’s highly acclaimed musicals. Most impressively, she has received the AMHS undergraduate award for performing arts three years running. The Royals have consistently performed well at regional competitions, including a first place finish in hip hop and a respectable finish in the championship division at the USA Nationals. She has been a key contributor to one of the best dance squads in the nation. Dance is an integral part of Maddie’s life that she hopes to continue dancing beyond high school. She concluded, “I hope to continue taking classes, choreographing, and teaching dance throughout my adult life.” Maddie is such an inspirational figure in the Mitty community and has truly left a lasting legacy as a Monarch. We look forward to watching Maddie achieve all of her goals and carry on the lessons that she has learned as a Royal.
while leading the Monarchs to eight-goal victories each time. Other offensive weapons around Kurze have helped The Archbishop Mitty Men’s Soccer team has the men’s team thrive under Coach Cesar Sanchez. In particular, the offense has fired on all cylinders far exceeded expectations this year after finishing last season with a solid 15-7-2 overall record and winning thanks in part to two outstanding juniors, Eric Espinoza and Andres Ochoa, who have both proved vital to this the West Catholic Athletic League. Following their league title, the Monarchs cruised Monarch squad. Espinoza has been the main distributor, dishing out through the WCAL tournament to reach the championship game against Bellarmine, but they trailed by one 16 assists in only 23 games, while scoring four goals goal with only eleven minutes remaining in regulation. on the season. Asked about keys to the unit’s success, Espinoza Junior Eric Espinoza then led the comeback with says that they are “have an a corner kick that senior incredibly strong team,” and Will Van Der Wey headed that their bench has “played in to tie the game at 1-1 extremely well, because with only three minutes even our substitutes give us a remaining in regulation. little spark when our starting The match went into two 11 are running dry.” overtime periods, but the Obviously, the mindset deadlock could not be of this team is to win by broken. playing together as one, In the penalty kick rather than playing for just phase, Mitty made four individual accolades. penalty kicks to three to Additionally, junior pull out the WCAL chamAndres Ochoa has been pionship. The victory gave a key contributor for the the Monarchs their 2nd Monarchs, scoring 10 goals straight WCAL title, and and dishing out five assists they now look forward in 23 games played so far to competing in the CCS this season. playoffs. When asked what the With only one loss team’s goals were by the in the 2012-2013 season and an undefeated record Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez end of the season, Ochoa says that, “At the beginning in league play, the team Senior Aditya Kotte takes the ball down field. of the year we set three main is confident about their goals: WCAL league chamchances. As of right now, they are playing so well that they pions and WCAL tournament champions, as well as CCS champions.” are ranked 41st in the nation and 16th in California. It is apparent that this team’s mind is set on going The Monarchs are currently anchored by senior goalie Ryan Foo. In 23 games, Foo and sophomore for it all. The team has already made history by becoming Chris Velez have only allowed a total of 9 goals, while posting an astounding 15 shutouts. Foo’s 15 shutouts is the first Men’s Soccer team ever to finish undefeated in a new Mitty record, breaking the previous mark of 13. league play and looks to add to this by going deep into Individually, Foo has an incredible goals against the postseason. Though there are many leadership roles on the average of only .391 goals per game. On the offensive side, senior sensation Connor team, the true leader in all of the athlete’s eyes is Head Kurze currently leads the Monarchs with 20 goals and Coach Cesar Sanchez. Players believe that his passion and love for the 8 assists on the season. Kurze has definitely shown up in key league games game have influenced their decisions on and off the to contribute to the team’s success. In two games against field. These two characteristics define this team and will Riordan, Kurze recorded a total of 6 goals and 2 assists, hopefully lead them to a CCS title.
Women’s Basketball Looking to Defend State Title
By Cherie Cole Staff Writer The members of the Women’s Basketball team appear determined to continue their tradition of dominance this year as the team aims to repeat as State Champions. After a second place finish in regular season play, the Monarchs sought revenge in the WCAL finals against Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Irish had handed Mitty both of their league losses in the regular season, but it was a different story this time around. Senior Emily Dinger had a remarkable 22 point performance in an 54-50 overtime victory. “We were hungry,” Dinger told the Mercury News. “It was definitely a goal for us to come out and just give our all—and that’s what we did.” The Monarchs got their league title, but are certainly not finished. Mitty will now be moving on to the CCS tournament and hopefully to the Northern California Tournament after that, all in the hopes of defending their CIF Division II State Championship. The team’s journey toward that defense started off with a tough challenge, as the Monarchs opened the year against a top-10, nationally ranked Bishop O’Dowd squad and lost 51-40. However, the girls gained valuable experience from a challenging pre-season schedule, earning an 21-6 record overall.
These wins included impressive victories against Dougherty Valley of San Ramon, Scotts Valley, Eastside College Prep, and Deer Valley. The Monarchs were able to build up momentum before traveling to Arizona for the Nike Tournament of Champions the week before Christmas.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
Junior Kelli Hayes drives to the basket.
The Monarchs were able to advance to the championship game, where they faced Sacred Heart from Louisville, KY. After a long and hard-fought tournament, Mitty fell by two points, losing 63-61. Dinger and junior Kelli Hayes, who was recently named the WCAL Player of the Year, had huge performances. Kelli scored 18 points and Emily had 15 points of her own in the finals. Despite falling short of their ultimate goal, the Monarchs remained positive. “Playing in this tournament gave me the opportunity to play against competition from all over the country that I would have never been able to play otherwise,” said senior D’Andree Galipeau, now out for the season with a leg injury. “It was truly an amazing experience and blessing to play in a tournament with some of the top players in the nation, and it helped us grow individually and as a team.” After the tournament, the Monarchs returned to league play with great success, compiling a 10-2 record in WCAL play, with their most impressive victory coming against the St. Ignatius Wildcats on the road. Dinger, Hayes, senior Vanessa Garner, and freshman Jahnay Anderson led the Monarchs to a 63-47 victory in that game, combining for 43 points, 17 rebounds, 11 assists, and eight steals. Now CCS and State await a team that has regularly made its biggest mark at the end of the season.
News • February 2013
Modifying the Madness
By Pei Ling Lee & Jennifer Sherwood in general, are fun for everyone involved.” Staff Writers Even three years ago, the Madness underwent important Smack in the middle of downtown San Jose, a loud changes. The Wheelbarrow Race replaced the Skateboard roar erupts from the Civic Auditorium: “The Madness” has Sack, a game in which students would often get stuck, leadarrived. This year, Archbishop Mitty’s very own Monarch ing to frustration. In addition, the Sleeping Bag Relay—a Madness XXII will feature two new events for its eagerly- fast-paced game that features students pulling each other awaiting audience. across the court on sleeping bags—replaced the Basketball For this year’s Monarch Madness, Student Activities Relay due to the loss of basketball hoops in Civic Auditohas again made the difficult decision of replacing two more rium, and quickly became a favorite. games —this time due Of course, these to the difficulty in judgmodifications are not ing the outcome. In the made without careful past, Musical Chair Madeliberation: it takes nia has been one of the an immense amount most exciting games in of collaboration to Monarch Madness. Uncarry out such a task. fortunately, it was nearly The members of ASB, impossible to fairly deStudent Government, termine a winner, so it and Student Activiis being replaced with ties all share ideas another version of Powto build and improve erball, pitting the Junior upon Monarch Madand Senior girls against ness. one another. Mr. Walker elabThe Class Repreorates, saying, “We Image Courtesy of Pro Image found it important to sentative game has been switched as well. In prehave everyone conJunior and Senior girls compete in Musical Chairs vious years, Monarch tribute for an event of Madness has featured four rounds of fast-paced Dodgeball. this magnitude. All of us tried to come up with something However, this year our reps will instead be playing Row that would not only be fun for the participating students, Row Row Your Reps: an adrenaline pumping game where but also something that the crowd could cheer along with.” the team of reps sits in a row, grabs each other’s ankles, and So the new games were chosen to maximize enjoyment then moves across the floor in a caterpillar style. for all attending Monarch Madness. Not only will these These modifications have changed not only the games games offer new outlets for competition, but they will also themselves, but also the crowd’s viewing experience. Mr. highlight the talents of the students who participate. Greg Walker, the Director of Student Activities says, “Over On March 8, the new, improved, and long-awaited the years, we pick up on games that could be replaced or Monarch Madness XXII will arrive at the San Jose Civic changed. All of us in Student Activities feel that we are Center. And although the old games will be missed, the responsible for making sure that the games, and the night recently added events are sure to impress.
iPads and Paper By Pooja Patel Staff Writer In 2011, from July to December, Mitty used over 3.2 million sheets of paper in the form of flyers, copies, printed worksheets, and class work. With the use of the iPads this year, however, that number has dramatically decreased to only 1.8 million sheets of paper, a total saving of 1.4 million pieces of paper. Mr. Jorge Helmer, the Chief Financial Officer, estimates that Mitty has saved $29,866 through the switch to the iPad. So, while the iPad might improve the way we participate in in-class activities, it serves an additional purpose economically.
Remembering the Fitz By Jacob Isaacs Staff Writer Archbishop Mitty and Jesuit High School played in the first Dan Fitzgerald Memorial Charity Basketball Game on Friday, Dec. 7. The proceeds, $2,110 in all, were donated to the Dan Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship and the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane, Washington. The score stood with Mitty the winner, by 64-42. Mr. Joe Ciesinski, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, said of the event, “The Dan Fitzgerald Memorial Basketball Game was a great opportunity to showcase two great basketball teams, and more importantly, to raise money for a good cause.”
STUDENT CENTE(RED) Polina Edmunds
By Katie Ericksen & Sara Wiltberger Staff Writers Polina Edmunds is a champion. In a school where champions are not uncommon, freshman Polina Edmunds nonetheless stands out. Although she may not have won any banners for the Fien Gym, Polina wins something different: gold medals. Being the United States’ number one Junior Ladies figure skater, her dreams of competing in the Olympics are extraordinarily close to reality. Polina recently traveled to the National Figure Skating competition in Omaha, Nebraska, where she soared, spun, and skated her way to the gold medal, crowned as the United States 2013 National Champion in Junior Ladies figure skating. This Monarch skated to Romeo and Juliet and attempted some of the most challenging technical maneuvers in competition history. Polina commenced her performance by throwing back-to-back triple-triple combinations, a Lutz-toe, and a flip-toe. For those who are not well-educated in the terms of figure skating, these moves include launching your body into the air, and flipping, spinning and leaping in ways that most individuals could not manage on solid land much less skating on thin pieces of metal. Polina scored a grand total of 159.87 points, thus ensuring her ultimate first place win and coming one step closer to her Olympic dreams. When talking with Polina, you not only see a sweet teenager, but also the fire, drive, and passion of a champion. She first started figure skating at the age of two and has dedicated her life to it ever since. Skating is evidently in her blood: her mother was also an accomplished figure skater in Russia. Through the support of her family, Polina’s first big award came when she was just 8 years old at the Regional Championships. It is her own dedication that drives her, as she practices six days a week for four-hour sessions with former Olympic Champion, Marina Klimova. “Figure skating is a passion I fulfill everyday,” Polina says. “I have never wanted to quit, because I know I would regret it if I did, and I’ve gone so far already. It’s not time to quit yet. I love to skate.” Perhaps more amazingly, she is able to balance the normal life of a teenage girl—friends, school and fun—with the ardent schedule Image Courtesy of Jay Adeff of a champion. Although figure skating is primarily known for its beauty and grace, it can also be quite dangerous: a lapse in control can result in a painful injury. Polina admits, “Sometimes, it’s scary to go into a jump with so much speed, but I know that I have learned the jump, and I can land it. It’s just a matter of my concentration on allowing myself to pull in and commit to the rotation.” Though Polina does admit to feeling a bit nervous before competitions, she has faith in her drive and determination. She expresses her desire to compete, stating, “A lot of my friends and competitors from other states are getting sent out to compete internationally, and I want to do it too. So I try to work as hard as I can so that I get my chance.” With her latest victory in Omaha, international competition does not seem so far fetched. Who knows, we may very well be cheering on another Monarch in a future Olympics.
Volume 22 Number 3 Advisors Mr. Mick VanValkenburg & Mr. Craig Whitt News Aneesh Akella, Ashley Do, Kelvin Leong, & Kevin Tran Opinions Jessica Dumov, Nina Ge, Katherine Kirst, & Kaitlin Milliken Arts & Entertainment AnnaLiese Burich, Bella DiLisio Chitra Marti, & Jisoo Kim Focus Piyali Banerjee, Kanako Shimizu, & Puja Subramaniam Justice Awareness Elena Georgieva, Jeemin Kwon, Carlisle Micallef, & Katrina Vokt Sports Erik Chu, Stephen Kwok, David Mace, & Cameron Schott Photo Emily Guzman, Brian Nguyen, & Rachel Wakley Archbishop Mitty High School 5000 Mitty Way, San Jose, CA 95129 The Monarch is published for the students, faculty, and parents of Archbishop Mitty High School.