What’s Your Major? (see page 4)
Serving the Archbishop Mitty Community
Volume 23 Number 2
’Tis the Season to Be Jolly A Myriad of Merry Festivities By Ashley Do & Emilie Schott News Editor & Staff Writer ecember marks a time of celebration and apprehension, both a beginning and an end. With finals around the corner, the end of the first semester is accompanied by additional stress. However, Mitty counters this by bringing Christmas cheer to campus. The holidays allow us to reflect on our many blessings and to celebrate the birth of Christ. As we, the Archbishop Mitty community, enter this holiday season, we take time to enjoy what our different departments, such as Student Activities, Performing Arts, and Campus Ministry, have prepared for us to celebrate together.
Performing Arts Jingle Bell Rock
The Performing Arts department started the season off with two holiday concerts that were both held this past week: one on Monday, Dec. 2, and the other on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Students filled the Kinkade Center for Performing Arts to listen to classic carols like “White Christmas,” “What Child Is This,” a reminiscent Charlie Brown medley, and several other pieces which were performed by Exodus, Jazz Band and Jazz Choir, as well as the orchestra, bands, and choirs. Leanna Syrimis, senior, comments, “In performing with a group, we are able not only to create something beautiful for ourselves, but to share it with others as well, which is what Christmas is all about.” In addition, Jazz Choir also helped get everyone in a joyous spirit during the Christmas Rally last Friday and will continue spreading the holiday cheer through music after finals are all done. Exodus, Jazz Choir, and Jazz Band will be performing in Christmas in the Park on December 20 starting at 6 p.m.
Nine Ladies Dancing
The winter dance recital was held on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kinkade Center for Performing Arts. The program featured our award-winning Royals Dance team as well as the Dance 1 and Dance 2 elective classes led by Ms. Anethra Moura. It surely was an energetic night with the Royals performing solo pieces, competition routines, and a few of the numbers from past rallies and sporting events. In addition, Dance 1 and Dance 2 showcased a jazz and hip-hop routine, while Dance 2 performed an additional lyrical/contemporary number. To end the night, these stunning dancers showed their Christmas spirit by dancing to a holiday-themed finale to the song “Run Run Rudolph.”
Campus Ministry O Come, All Ye Faithful
Apart from all the excitement and festivities the spiritual side of the holidays should be at the forefront of our thoughts during the Christmas Season. Masses that give students time to reflect will be offered every day after school during the Advent season. Furthermore, all of the religion classes participated in an Advent reconciliation service on either December 4 or 5. Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Tim Wesmiller, says that “all of our events give space for students, faculty, and staff, to slow down to reflect on where God has played a role in their lives and how they can prepare themselves to allow God to enter into their life in a much greater, profound way.”
Photo Courtesy of ProImage
Ms. Jennifer Salmon and Mr. Brendan Lavelle spread their joy for the holidays at last year’s Christmas Rally
The Mitty student’s ability to be a just and caring individual is most notable during the Spirit Week food drive. Although these donations were only worth 5 spirit points per day, students have transformed this aspect of Spirit Week into a movement. The food drive has continued throughout the holiday season with food barrels located in the foyer. Director of Christian Service Ms. Christina McDougall reflects, “As the drive falls right before the season of Advent, it provides students with the opportunity to live out their faith in a tangible way.” Over 40 bins of nonperishable food items will have been donated to Second Harvest Food Bank to feed those less fortunate.
Student Activities All I Want for Christmas
Student members of the California Scholarship Federation and National Honor Society organized the Teens for Teens Christmas drive. Gift cards in denominations of $10 and other items such as socks and footballs were collected for the cause. Over the past five years, Mitty students and their families have donated a total of $31,390 in gifts. Our school exemplified the spirit of giving so much that Archbishop Mitty was recognized as an Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Organization at the Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon in November. Senior Rachel Esplana, one of the student organizers of this drive explains, “It’s saddening to think that there are teenagers out there who are lacking basics–things that I myself tend to take for granted. With the Teens for Teens program, we have the chance to better these people’s lives with only a couple of dollars.”
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
One of the most notable ways Mitty celebrates Christmas on campus is with our annual Christmas Rally. At the
end of November, students were invited to make wishes for their peers, teachers, and faculty and state why the recipient was deserving of such a wish. After a period of eager anticipation, finally, on Friday, December 6, Christmas arrived on campus. Traditionally dubbed “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day,” the day of the Christmas Rally is one of the most treasured days at Mitty. Despite the looming dread of finals and end of the semester projects, students can take a day to enjoy a sense of school unity through the creation of holiday spirit. Throughout the rally, several wishes were then granted by Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the elves—played by Mr. Brendan Lavelle, Ms. Anne Nowell, Ms. Jennifer Salmon, and Mr. Joe Ciesinski respectively—to various students and staff at Mitty. The suspense of the rally always builds as all the gifts are a complete surprise: no one knows if they are getting a wish until the day of. This year, the rally started off with a heartfelt thank you to the Maintenance staff for all the hard work they do in keeping our campus well maintained. Often, they are under-appreciated and do not receive the thanks they deserve, but people like Mr. Mark Costanza, Mr. Jose Hernandez, Mr. Mike Perez, and the rest of the crew, were able to see how much Mitty students are truly grateful for all the work that they do. Another notable wish was for senior Haley Weiner. An avid fan of the Sharks, Haley received a signed jersey from Joe Pavelski and tickets to an upcoming game. After the game, she will be visited by none other than the star athlete himself for a meet and greet. One of the most shocking parts of the rally happened at the end when Mr. Steve Herrera performed his first miracle: parting the Red Sea, otherwise known as the mass of sophomores sitting on the floor. If that was not mindblowing enough, he proceeded to “marry” Ms. Kendra Hofmann-Curry and Mr. Graham Oleson in a fake wedding. The wish was a gift to all the students who wanted an invitation to their wedding in about six months. Mr. Lavelle, otherwise known as Santa, comments, “The Christmas Rally is just about doing something fun, which is sometimes difficult among all the stresses of life students, faculty, and staff have to deal with. People willingly (or unwillingly) embarrass themselves for the sake of having a good time.” Even after the rally was completed, gifts were still given during student’s classes to continue the holiday cheer throughout the day.
O, Christmas Tree!
Mitty’s Christmas spirit extends beyond our enclosed campus. For example, the Art department has worked hard on a Christmas tree submission at Downtown San Jose’s Christmas in the Park (it opened the day after Thanksgiving). The theme of the tree this year is Hoe-Down, and ever since the summer, students have worked with Ms. Peggy Lemak to make this idea a reality. In past years, Mitty’s amazing tree submision has won several awards as well. Additionally, Student Activities has put up a tree in Aymar—the evergreen features handmade ornaments and decorations from the different clubs around campus.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! However you acknowledge the holiday season, try to incorporate one of the many opportunities provided to you by Archbishop Mitty’s Student Activites, Campus Ministry, and Performing Arts departments to celebrate, appreciate, and contemplate the many blessings you have been given this year.
FOCUS ......................... 10-11
JUSTICE AWARENESS.... 7-9
Arts & Entertainment......... 12-15
PHOTO ......................... 18-20
Fridays Just Got More Exciting
More Opportunites to See Sketch Comedy Each performance is unscripted and includes several impromptu-style skits and games. Sketches—short humorous performances—cover a variety of subject matters that range from poking fun of the latest news stories to different aspects of pop culture, and everything in between. Pardon My French works long mornings preparing for their performances, meeting every Monday and Thursday from seven o’clock until the beginning of first period. During their practices, they work together to come up with different ideas and scenes, rehearsing their finalized sketches when performance dates draw near. A typical class utilizes different techniques that are taught during the course to develop performance material and improv. skills. The new addition of French Fridays allows the sketch comedy team more opportunities to showcase their talents in a relaxed environment. It also gives them more freedom when deciding on performance material. Photo Courtesy of ProImage Consisting of talented perJuniors Maddie Ballard and Shawn Clifford and formers comprising a cast of wacky Senior Emma Graysmark rehearse for a show. personas, these comedians are sure Different from their scheduled performances in to entertain, Pardon My French provides a fun-filled the Kinkade Theater for Performing Arts, admittance French Friday of entertainment that you definitely for French Fridays is free and each performance is do not want to miss. around a half an hour in length. These events provide As Mitty sketch comedy senior Roisin Slevin a more fun and light-hearted atmosphere for both the puts it, “It’s free and a lot of fun…Why wouldn’t performers and audience members alike. you go?” By Madeleine Fernando Staff Writer Comprised of some of the funniest people on campus, Mitty’s Sketch Comedy team, Pardon My French, has started a new tradition this year: French Fridays. About once a month, these performances take place right after school in the music center and are open to anyone ready to laugh uncontrollably and enjoy some hilarious sketches.
Celebrating the Spanish Heritage By Veronica Marquez Staff Writer Beginning this 2013-2014 school year, Archbishop Mitty added a Spanish class for native speakers. This class works to improve the Spanish of students who already speak the language at home or who attended a bilingual school before attending Mitty. Señora Liz Najlis, the teacher of this course, teaches sixteen Freshman students with the goal of instilling further confidence with the language as well as an appreciation for various Freshman Gabriel Scharp goes over an assigned activity Spanish speaking cultures. from the Nuevas Vistas course book. Many of Sra. Najlis’s students know how to speak the language proficiently, immigration focuses not only on immigration of but have trouble with detailed reading and writing. Latinos, but also on immigration on a larger scale. What is unique to this class is the student’s In creating this class, Sra. Najlis has focused on ability to connect to the issues they are learning helping students master Spanish by teaching them about. One assignment requires students to speak to write and speak with proper grammar. The syllabus was created by Sra. Najlis to to a family member who migrated to America and teach in ways tailored specifically to each student’s take a picture with them. Ultimately, students better needs. Each student not only learns about grammar appreciate family members who are immigrants. Another topic this class addresses is intolerand vocabulary, but also reads literature, interprets poetry, and learns about topics such as immigration ance, such as xenophobia: the irrational fear of and intolerance. Compared to other Spanish classes, that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. this course has the flexibility to teach more about To learn about this, the class focuses on the plight of migrant workers, and explores countries such culture. Because these students already know Spanish, as Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Spain. Students also the entire class is taught in Spanish and the students read poetry by Spanish speaking authors, including are able to learn what is referred to as “grandiloquent Chilean Pablo Neruda Through this UC approved course, both Brisa vocabulary.” When mastering complex words, the students learn to see connections between Spanish Rios and Andres Torres, freshmen, share that they vocabulary and English vocabulary, which sub- have been able to learn Spanish more academically. sequently expands their English vocabulary. The Andres learned Spanish through his Spanish speakgrandiloquent vocabulary also serves to empower ing parents, and he believes that the most helpful mastery in students: one of the goals of the course. aspect of this class is learning grammatically correct Sra. Najlis states, “The most important thing Spanish as opposed to much of the slang he has is to empower the students and make sure they are learned at home. Brisa, who attended a bilingual school before, proud of their culture and their language.” While the class does utilize a textbook called points out that this class is unique in that it teaches Nuevas Vistas, the curriculum goes beyond the her new material she has never seen at home or in pages of text. For example, the class discussion on her nine years of Spanish class.
December 2013 • News
Clubs on Campus Red Cross By Maya Ruiz Staff Writer The American Red Cross has provided the global community with disaster relief, support for service members, blood drives, health and safety services, and international development since its founding in 1881. Now, Mitty students can be a part of that history through the new Red Cross Club. Last week, the club participated in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program by sending holiday cards to veterans and active service members. The club also plans to put on Mitty’s annual blood drive, to clean up local parks, and to send disaster relief kits to those in need. Whether individuals want to complete community service hours or to make new friends, the Red Cross Club offers a unique opportunity for Mitty students.
Lend a Paw By Pei-Ling Lee News Editor A new club on campus, Lend A Paw promotes advocacy for the just treatment of animals, participates in many animalcentered activities, and unites animal lovers. Recently, the club had a successful event in which students spent a few hours after school making tennis ball toys and fleece blankets for donation to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. Apart from making toys, other club events include plans to make homemade animal treats and to go on a pet-friendly hike at a local county park. For the rest of the year, the club’s goals are to volunteer handson with animals at local animal shelters and to spread awareness about different animal rights issues—like puppy mills—that are prevalent today. The club even plans on writing and sending letters signed by Mitty students to local congressmen in order to advocate for these issues, hoping to gain their support. To all students who have a soft spot for their furry four-legged friends, Lend A Paw is the club for you.
HART By Laura Galang Staff Writer Art—whether fashion, music, or sculpture—provides opportunity for self-expression: art brings the artist’s inner world to concrete reality. The HART Club is a new club on campus in which students can create their own pieces of art and appreciate the creations of fellow club members. Ana Montoya, the founder of HART, created the club as a haven for students to take a break from their busy lives and express themselves through various mediums. The word HART itself is an acronym for “having a reason today” as art gives individuals a reason to express themselves. At HART, this expression can be seen through various projects, ranging from working with clay to tie-dying t-shirts. Later this year, the club hopes to hold a benefit concert in which the funds collected will be used to buy art supplies for other schools.
Mitty By Scott Raine-King Staff Writer Inspired by the renowned TEDx talks, Juniors Mihir Chitalia, Pranav Ajith, and Chaitanya Gangavarapu “decided to create TEDxMitty with the idea of starting a conversation about a prevalent topic within our school.” Anyone who has ever watched a TED talk or has had the pleasure of seeing one in person knows of the incredibly inspiring nature that such a talk can possess. The concept behind these talks embodies TED’s slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TEDxMitty was created as a sort of mental playround where teens in the context of the Mitty community could discuss ideas and topics that teens care about. With the goal of bringing people together, TEDxMitty’s talks will be open to anyone who wants to listen.
News • December 2013
The View from Above
Behind the Scenes with the San Jose Sharks When he got to me, I answered that my dream job would be working as a sportscaster on TSN (Canada’s equivalent to ESPN). He asked if I was from Canada, to which I answered no, and then he asked why I would’ve chosen a Canadian station. My answer? Because TSN shows hockey, and ESPN doesn’t. After the interviews, we were guided up the stairs to the press box seating, at which point I was seriously regretting my decision to wear heels. To get to our personal press seating area, we had to walk across the catwalks. To start the night, we had our bags searched at the MeEven though I was high above them, with the fans’ dia entrance of the newly christened SAP Center—which electric energy, I felt as though I was right in the middle of I will always know as the Shark Tank— and received our the crowd. The cheers of 17,562 exuberant hockey enthusi“press credentials” pass, which gave us admittance to the asts shook the rafters: I could physically feel the excitement areas that were normally off-limits in the arena. From they had and hear scattered groups of fans start “Let’s go there, we went to dinner in the pressroom which included Sharks” cheers—most of which caught on successfully and amazing food and brief sightings of Sharks personalities ended with the participation of the entire arena. along with other journalists for both the Sharks and the During the first intermission of the game, as I walked visiting Buffalo Sabres. to the adjoining rafters to get a drink, Doug Wilson stopped After a scrumptious dinner, we were guided through me and commended me for lauding TSN against more a maze of cubicles located under the SAP Center until we familiar sports stations. As a native Canadian, he said he finally reached a secluded conference room where we had was happily surprised to hear me list a Canadian station interviews with Sharks beat writer David Pollak, and EVP and told me good job. I politely thanked him, and may or and GM Doug Wilson. may not have walked away and done a small celebratory Mr. Pollak entered first and took his position at the dance because one of my idols had just complimented me. head of the table. He eagerly answered every question Two regular periods, an overtime period and a shootwe threw his way. Pollak emphasized the stress of being out passed, and the game did not end well for the Sharks, a hockey writer, but made it clear that his passion for the with a final 5-4 loss to the Sabres. However, it was not a Photo Courtesy of San Jose Sharks team, sport, and job made all of the pressure well worth disappointing matchup. The not-so-playful shoves into the Junior Jenni Sherwood interviews it—sentiments to which I can strongly relate. boards, agile plays, and even a questionably ignored goal all Left Winger #83 Matthew Nieto. Once our 30 minutes with David Pollak were up, we made it a game that I will never forget. quickly transitioned into our interview session with Doug Post-game activities began after we rushed back down Wilson. He provided great insight about how we, as young writers, should look at the profes- the stairs to line up outside of the San Jose Sharks locker room. Number 83 Matt Nieto, sion and the media. “Don’t ever sell your soul; nothing without work and integrity,” he said. who also turned 21 that night, greeted us with a surprisingly positive attitude after a tough Near the end of our time with him, I asked Wilson what qualities he looked for when loss. As the only California native on the team, he shared that he “couldn’t have asked for deciding what players to draft. “We ask our guys if they can do two things,” he answered. a better situation” when he was drafted back into his home state in 2011. “Can [he] look in the mirror at the end of the game, and can he look in his teammates’ Hockey, like life, is defined by moments. What you do with those moments is up eyes? You can have all of the talent in the world, but if you can’t do those two things, you to you. Both the San Jose Sharks and I are using these moments to achieve our biggest won’t be a great teammate and you won’t win.” goals. The Sharks want to be Stanley Cup winners, and I want to be a sports journalist. As we were leaving, Wilson asked everyone in the group what each of us wanted to be. And neither of us is willing to give that up, no matter what. By Jenni Sherwood News Editor Jenni Sherwood submitted an article to the San Jose Sharks for their annual High School Writers Day, and was invited to a game (against the Buffalo Sabres). She then wrote an article about her experience as a professional sports journalist on the night of October 5. This is her (abridged) article:
STUDENT CENTERED Hannah McCabe
By Emily Malig Staff Writer Hannah McCabe began her baton twirling career as a three-year-old after watching her cousin perform. “I used to go to her parades and watch her. One day, I just decided to take lessons,” she recalls. Her years of devotion have finally paid off as she was recently named a U.S. national baton twirling champion. Hannah– a sophomore at Mitty–practices with the Valley Baton Club three to four times a week for several hours to rehearse individual as well as group routines. Hannah explains, “You learn certain tricks in certain sequences, and then you put them all together into a routine.” While twirling may seem simple enough, Hannah reveals that it requires significant skill and devoted time. “We actually do really big tricks,” she clarifies. “Some people think that we march with the band and never toss the baton, but we actually can throw it up to 50 feet high.” Baton twirling is similar to rhythmic gymnastics or color guard and combines dance and gymnastics while whirling up to three metal batons. Called majorettes, these competitors use their flexibility, raw power, and aesthetic sense to combine athletic and artistic abilities. You may have witnessed this at the Fall Sports Rally when Hannah was in the Women’s Field Hockey dance—her tricks drew many surprised cheers from the Mitty community. Hannah showed off her twirling techniques last summer in Florida at the U.S. National Baton Twirling Championship, where she competed against 900 twirlers from around the country for the coveted title of U.S. National Champion. At this tournament, there are multiple events and the competitors enter the event they are most prepared for. If a twirler wins their age category, she goes to the next round: a competition of twirlers of all ages. Pitted against hundreds of other competitors, Hannah made it through the rounds to earn her title as National ChamPhoto Courtesy of Hannah McCabe pion. However, this wasn’t Hannah’s first time gracing the Sophomore Hannah McCabe performs award stand. In 2010, Hannah was a Grand Champion for during one of her competitions. the Juvenile Strut. A year later, she placed as a semifinalist in Artistic Twirl and Solo and was a consolation winner for the Two-Baton competition. A veteran to the world of baton twirling, Hannah knows all about the ins and outs of competition. However, as is the case with any true athlete, the glory and thrill of competing are not nearly as important when compared to the value of personal growth and community. In fact, Hannah’s favorite aspect of this activity is meeting a multitude of different people from around the country. Bonded by this experience, in this way, she can make lifelong friendships with other individuals that share her passion for the grace and strength of this sport.
Volume 23 Number 2 Advisors Mr. Mick VanValkenburg & Mr. Craig Whitt News Ashley Do, Pei-Ling Lee, Jenni Sherwood, & Sara Wiltberger Opinion Jessica Dumov, Katherine Kirst, Kaitlin Miliken, & Sanika Puranik Justice Awareness Riya Dange, Carlisle Micallef, Manasi Patwa, & Leanna Syrimis Focus Meghana Killedar, Lina Lalwani, Sanjana Sarathy, & Kerri Yen Arts & Entertainment Niki Griswold, Mitch Hanson, Jisoo Kim, & Shannon Lam Sports Arjun Balasingham, Varun Chhabra, Katie Erickson, & Pooja Patel Photo Emily Guzman, Amanda Le, Chloe Stevens, & Rachel Wakely 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.
Opposing Viewpoints In Defense of:
THE MATH NERD
THE STARVING ARTIST
By Eric Whitehead Staff Writer
By Kaitlin Milliken Opinions Editor
As most of us seniors are beginning to finalize our college applications and the rest of our peers in classes below us are learning their academic strengths, we are all in the process of deciding what we want to study in college and do with the rest of our lives. Capitalist America, media and even our education systems are driving us away from pursuing careers in the liberal arts and instead toward STEM majors––science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Should you go with this advice or against it? I say STEM, and here’s why. Technology has become an axial asset in all of our lives. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are always using it. The 21st century has brought this boom, and it is continuing to advance beyond our knowledge with every passing day. As a part of “Generation Y,” we are well aware of this, as we have grown up with it. It is likely the case in many of our homes that we would be the ones to call if Mom or Dad can’t figure out the cable TV or can’t understand why the internet isn’t working. All of these massive social constructs are still very new to the world, and as our dependence on them has grown, we need to call upon today’s generation of students to seed fresh ideas into these continued expansions. The issue with trying to guide youth into a STEM career might sound like a confusing mess that the average young adult would not really care about. Which is often exactly true. I hear it around campus all the time from other students: “I hate physics”; “Calculus will be the death of me”; “I stayed up until 2 a.m. studying for the chemistry test and I still definitely failed.” As a result, many who struggle come to resent studies in these areas and the idea of majoring in such subjects is a complete turn off. But take a look at the world around you. Almost everything you can see, and even cannot see, is the result of an idea in someone’s head. With the growing need and desire for new technology, energy is a primary necessity, and being eco-friendly
with energy is fashionable, lucrative, and efficient. Everyone is constantly searching for new answers to the energy crisis, and those answers are being discovered by young, fresh-minded critical thinkers in science fields. For example, climate change, although it is very gradual, is an issue that threatens the world at large. Without critically-thinking environmentalists trained in science and engineering, who else will carefully watch over the planet many could seem to care less about? And there are so many more issues that STEM is critical in solving. Take any aspect of a city or populated area. Someone out there is needed to calculate the gross amount of traffic in and out of a city daily, assessing water movement, vehicle movement, waste management, importation of goods, exoduses of people. Mathematics jobs are needed to analyze this data to find trends, to account for gains or losses, and ultimately to help us solve these problems. Physics jobs are needed to find ways to physically accommodate for these movements. On any given day, disease kills millions of people, and while we have been chipping away and finding cures through baby steps, steps are only steps; there is only a minute and classified group of professionals and researchers that are able to tackle this task. With a population surpassing seven billion and an increased presence of diseases within the developing world, the need for more research is apparent. We can make advances in the world, within our own communities, and even in our own homes, through opening our minds to STEM. Jobs in STEM are the future. They can yield cures to disease, bring advancement in networks around the world, and lead to healthier and more prosperous lives. I present myself as an example. I am a Type I Diabetic, and have been since I was two years old. I had never truly embraced the disease as anything more than a burden, but as I’ve begun to accept my disease more and more, I’ve realized that I have a duty to contribute to my community, and I have a strong desire to help other people and children that suffer the same way I do. For a while in my life I thought I would become a writer, because I enjoy the medium and I thought it would be a decent career path. But I’ve now decided that I’m going to be a health-science major for the greater good. I can’t persuade you to share the same passion, but I call on you to think of the opportunities you have with the skills you have developed, and choose a career that can be beneficial to all of us.
Reading and writing have always been my passion. If you asked my fourth grade self what her favorite activity was, she would likely say working on movie scripts with her best friend. If you asked my middle school self, she would probably say reading everything she could get her hands on. If you asked me now, I would say writing newspaper articles and discussing literature. It makes sense that I should follow my passion for the liberal arts in college and pursue a career in a field I’m so clearly drawn to. I hope to one day be employed as a journalist or be working somewhere in publishing. Unfortunately, following my dreams might ultimately mean eating packet ramen for the majority of my adult life. Joy. While questioning my aspirations, I have also come to question the system that so harshly rejects them. In a society where value is determined by the almighty dollar, why are the liberal arts and humanities deemed less valuable than other fields? I can’t come up with a convincing answer. The liberal arts are an important part of our society so often overlooked. We need the people who keep us informed by producing the news. As a society where nearly a million books are published each year, it’s safe to say we appreciate entertainment. The liberal arts are even heavily involved in politics! Most politicians studied political science or international relations. Some of the key members in American society studied the majors that are often considered “doomed to cause starvation.” The humanities as a discourse are universal and crucial to human development. English classes teach us how to think critically. They teach us how to communicate our ideas clearly and control language to best suit our needs. Sociology broadens our perspective. We come to understand what makes our society unique and appreciate cultures different than our own. We learn to sympathize with others who live without the opportunities we take for granted. Philosophy leads us on a quest to discover our place in the universe. It epitomizes the plight of each human, as we try to navigate the confusing mazes of reality. Ultimately, the liberal arts provide us with the tools to succeed: a command of language, knowledge of culture, and a strong sense of purpose. A liberal arts
education can also make people more employable, but not in a conventional sense. A survey taken by the American Association of Colleges and University’s asked employers what qualities they found most desirable in applicants. Instead of advocating only for trade-based skills, 93% of respondents looked for a demonstrated capacity for critical thinking, communication, and problem solving. Nine out of ten employers placed ethical judgment among applicants’ most important qualities. Having a liberal arts based education, or taking liberal arts classes in conjunction with one’s major, can help fine tune these skills that employers seek. The success instilled by the liberal arts extends beyond employment into a philosophy of life. The humanities challenge people to make ethical choices in the real world—a perspective that lasts far beyond graduation. The liberal arts yield a more developed appreciation for literature, art, and music. When we learn about the complexities of art, we can develop a greater appreciation of artists and art alike. When we study ethics, we are more inclined to make sustainable choices and participate in service that betters our communities. The list goes on and on. In the end, our society needs a mix of people in different fields to continue its tradition of achievement. Creating a great community takes not only engineers, doctors, and scientists, but also journalists, music producers, philosophers, and anthropologists. To foster this diversity, society itself needs to become more accommodating. Instead of making jokes about the poli-sci major or the film major or the English major, we can encourage young people to pursue their passions. We can pay journalists, writers, and music makers a bit more. We can equip all students with the tools of the liberal arts. We can foster an appreciation for arts and sciences together. I’m not asking for much, just a small shift in perspective and a little respect for the humanities. Then maybe we can change the fate of the starving liberal artist.
Opinions • December 2013
“OH, GROW UP!”
? M E L B O R P E TH iou ren L r a K y B rite Staff W
In this day and age, getting into the college is every privileged high schooler’s obsession. Popular choices include universities within the UC system, which has six of its ten campuses ranked among the top 25 by Washington Monthly. I confess I’m one of them. Berkeley or bust! Admittedly, the high quality of education UC colleges offers make acceptance a hot commodity, but it does not compensate for the ballooning class sizes and the rising tuition costs—there is a shortage of faculty and tuition rose on average a staggering 73.1% over the 2006-2011 school years. The system seeks to enable all students to graduate “in a timely fashion,” yet the percent of students who graduate within four years is only 51.4%. Though it aims to prepare students to be the “next generation of leaders,” its minimal course requirements—fulfilling U.S. history, language, and writing requirements through community or high school courses as well as finishing courses in one’s intended major—do not provide for a well-rounded education that allows students to get ahead in a highly competitive job market. Employers look for distinctive qualities besides solely judging an applicant on their alma mater. The demise of the UC system lies in its inefficiency, increased spending, and state budget cuts. Only 2% of donations are “unrestricted.” Furthermore, revenue generated from services isn’t enough to compensate for expenses. For example, the cafeteria’s revenue is restricted to fund the cafeteria. So what is there to do? Increase the tuition! However, this is not possible. In 2008-09, more than half of UC undergraduate students received grants and scholarships, averaging $11,000 per student. College is expensive. Forcing students to pay more for four years in order to compensate is unfair to say the least. To put a ceiling on rising tuition, Governor Jerry Brown proposed an allocation of an additional $125 million if the universities in the
UC and CSU system agreed not to raise tuition for the 2012-13 year. However, $125 million is less than what was requested by the UC system in 2012, so universities may have to continue to drive up their fees, multiplying the number of student loans. They may also accept more outof-state students, since those students pay more in tuition. As a resident of California, I would be heartbroken if I was rejected from a UC just because UCs need to compensate for their losses by ramping up out-of-state acceptances, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in a web of debt after graduation. In order to reform the UC system, its structure needs to be reconfigured. Specific universities could specialize in specific majors such as biological, environmental, and agricultural sciences while offering other core curriculum classes to round out student’s education. Thus, the applicant numbers of each school could be evened out. Additionally, prospective students would be encouraged to apply to specific UCs instead of all of the campuses. This would help decrease the effect of impaction and provide students with the best education possible. Organizational simplification could be implemented in big steps—budget information posted by the University of California reveals that an individual agreed to fill two vice presidential positions as well with the salary of one, which saved $320,000. Clearly, the UC system needs to eliminate extraneous positions and perhaps use its campuses more efficiently. Even though reforming the UC system will be difficult, it is well worth the time and effort. We must remember that for many high school graduates the UC schools represent the first step to a successful future. But know that there are plenty of students who don’t graduate in four years, who can’t afford rising tuition, and who don’t leave college with their best foot forward. We must eliminate the growing number of such cases. After all, education is the foundation of all progress in society.
By Jessica Dumov Opinions Editor “I can’t believe you did that! Consequently, the adolescent Wow! You’re so immature!” Teenagers world is frazzled, unsure of what to do hear comments such as this quite often, and how to behave. The problem with whether it be from parents or from each spontaneous rules and restrictions— other. The entire world has a negative one at 16, another at 18, and some perception of teenagers. They say other at 21—is that teens often fall we’re immature. They say we’re “not into a place where they are expected old enough.” And maybe we’re not. It to act like adults yet are treated as can be very confusing and challenging children. Parents give their teenagers for this very reason: because no one a plethora of responsibilities, because ever gives us a certain age where we we are supposedly old enough to manare declared to be all grown up. age them. At the same time, they limit Biologically, at around the age of our freedom, because we are simply eleven for girls and twelve for boys, not mature enough to make our own gray matter in the brain attains maxi- decisions. mum consistency. From this point on, But what is maturity? What is it the amount of gray matter begins to that makes a person mature enough? decline and is gradually replaced by In my opinion, maturity comes from white matter. White matter is “the stuff a capability to make good decisions that makes us mature,” so the more and to follow through with them. It is white matter a person has, the more true that there are many teenagers who maturity he has. White matter finishes are incapable of doing this, but there developing at the age of 25, the age are plenty of adults that make poor marked as the typical biological date choices, too. There have been teenagof entrance to adulthood. ers who have started companies or Though one can hardly argue published eye-opening research. I even with information presented in the know of a girl who started a charity in name of science, these findings can India while in high school! call into question society’s views of Conversely, I am sure that everymaturity. Time Magazine ponders this one knows there are teenagers that see very information in an article called no purpose in school and sit around “What Makes Teens Tick.” The author, watching television all day. Many of Claudia Wallis, points out that in light those teenagers, however, will never of this biological research, “It seems grow out of their immature habits. almost arbitrary that our society has Some of those current high-schoolers decided that a young American is ready will still be living with mom and dad to drive a car at 16, to vote and serve at 30 years old. in the army at 18, and to drink alcohol The truth is that we cannot be at 21”. As Wallis points out, authority placed in a box, sealed up with duct shows little concern for science when tape, and labeled “ready at 18.” It’s it comes to deciding when teens are to just not that easy. Teenagers do not all be granted certain responsibilities and mature at the same time. Science says freedoms. that we mature at 25; society says 18... or 21? Something is amiss, so now we reach the question: Are we “too young to understand” or simply misinformed?
GIVING LIFE AFTER DEATH: ORGAN DONATION
By Maya Guhan Staff Writer After our death, most of us are likely to be buried, with our actual physical bodies the way the heart works to the different organs within the abdomen would be unknown serving no purpose in the world. But what if you were able to help others after your death? to humans, making modern medicine nonexistent. Ultimately, cadavers affect our wellConsider saving the lives of ten to fifty other people and educating future being because they help scientists discover cures for many conditions that generations of scientists—this can be done through willed body donation. regularly affect society: arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. In the United States, 117,000 people desperately need organ transplants As a student in Stanford’s Clinical Anatomy department, I literally and on average, 18 people die every day while waiting for such transplants. observed, felt, and understood every part of the human body such as the Every 10 minutes, another name is added to the waiting list. According brain, heart, bones and even the spinal cord. I witnessed the respect to the United Network of Organ Sharing, it takes a person with the Stanford Willed Body Organization has towards its cadavers. end stage heart failure 113 days to receive a transplant—that’s They do not mercilessly tear apart a person’s body, but care careliving about 4 months with a dysfunctional heart. If you were fully, with respect and adherence, observe the anatomy of in dire need of a transplant, wouldn’t you desperately seek the donor in order to create different strategies for bettering the help of others? surgical techniques. The body is cared for under the Human One person, after his or her death, has the capacity to Tissue Act of 2004 which prevents unlawful trafficking of save up to 50 lives through tissue and eye donation, and 8 organs, regulates the storage and use of human tissue, and lives through organ donation. Your family members may preserves the organs of a deceased person while acknowl acknowlfeel like they are giving parts of you away. However prior edging the wishes of the deceased. to donation, open caskets, in which the embalmed body of To donate your body to science or become an organ donor, the deceased is clothed, are readily available so that the family of the first converse with your family members and gain their consent. You deceased may hold funerals to commemorate their loved one. can register in your state’s donor registry by simply checking the box Another great way to serve your community is by donating your body to scientific on your driver’s license application. Also, consider the different willed research. Much of what doctors understand about the human body has come from observ observ- body programs that medical schools such as Stanford have to make an informed decision ing cadavers and the systems within the human body. Without cadavers, everything, from on how to impact scientific research and change lives, one body at a time.
December 2013 • Opinions
MODERN WARFARE: MORE THAN A GAME ME By Maxine Patwardhan Staff Writer How many people do you think have died in a war declared by the U.S. since World War II? Two million? Too high. 100,000? Still too high. Try 0. Never mind the more than a million people who died in the Vietnam war, the 35,000 lost in the Gulf War, the at least 100,000 dead as a result of the War in Iraq, and the hundreds more that are dying as the US withdraws. Those weren’t “real” wars (though have fun telling that to those who lost loved ones). There was no congressional declaration, but simply military authorization. War is changing, and not just technically and bureaucratically, but in how it is fought, why it is fought, and whether it is worth fighting at all. In many ways you could say the rules of the game changed when the US dropped that first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. Within a few years the Soviet Union had its own nuclear weapons and the arms race had begun. Now, nuclear proliferation may sound like a recipe for disaster, but it has been over half a century since the first nuclear weapons were developed, and there has never been a war (nuclear or non-nuclear) between two countries that possess nuclear weapons. According to Fyodor Burlatsky, a government official in the Soviet Union at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the two sides were able to de-escalate the situation because they both realized that “it is impossible to win a nuclear war.” One country is unlikely to go to war with another when it knows that it is more likely to be reduced to radioactive rubble than to become the next great superpower. Nuclear deterrence is a powerful reality that saves lives and leads to more diplomatic action, international cooperation, and the reluctance to call a war by its real name. And we don’t call wars by their real name—not anymore at least. But simply calling the Iraq War a “military conflict” or “Operation New Dawn” does not change the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have died. It simply removes such wars from the forefront of the national consciousness. Wars that we can ignore and pretend are not wars are the ugly side of our new approach to war. As we go from “authorized military engagement” to “authorized military engagement” there are fewer and
DROWNING IN PLASTIC
By Jacob Isaacs Staff Writer Swirling around in the Pacific Ocean is a swath of trash. This garbage patch covers an area perhaps the size of the entire continental U.S. While it might seem crazy, the gyrating plastic is a direct result of consumerism. Practically everything we buy comes in plastic containers—from bags of chips to phone cases to containers for apples. We do not realize that this plastic, while protective and convenient, is only usable once. Ours is a disposable society, where anyone can buy anything in a discardable plastic case. And where does this plastic go? Particles of plastic can end up in the digestive
fewer boots on the ground. American boots, anyway. Of the estimated 182,000-193,000 people killed in the Iraq War, only about 4,000 were Americans. About 28,000-38,000 were enemy combatants and about 125,000 were civilians. In certain areas of Pakistan, many civilians’ interaction with America consist of a drone striking a house in their village without warning. Fair targets in such wars that are not wars become anyone who interacts with, or is suspected of interacting with a terrorist group. Any male over the age of 18 is no longer counted as a civilian in some areas of the world. He is automatically classified as a fair target. Drones have been targeted to strike the homes of those who try to rescue victims of previous strikes, and those who mourn such victims. Of the 2,000-3,000 people killed from 2004-2012 in a drone strike, at least 176 were children. Yet most of America, while aware of the use of drones, remains entirely unaware of these atrocities and continues to support a tactic that they believe keeps our citizens out of harms way. But a war is still a war, even if undeclared. When thousands of people die because two sides have to fight out their differences, it is—by most people’s definition—a war.
tracts of animals. The adverse effects of plastic on wildlife have been demonstrated in hundreds of species. Albatrosses and sea turtles (both of which are mostly endangered) eat shiny objects like plastic. On land, animals fare just as poorly. Emitted greenhouse gases clog the atmosphere, leading to climate change. Already, this year has had abnormal weather the world over, from flooding in Colorado and Southeast Asia, to horrendous smog in China and an unseasonal heat wave across the Midwest. Driving everywhere, heating our houses and cooling them, and producing a constant flow of new products, all lead to the ruin we have wrought. Cars are anything but efficient—they require immense energy simply to prevent us from exerting our own. Most pressing, however, is our focus on constantly creating new objects. Instead of making products to last, industry realizes that they maximize profit margins through obsolescence. In the United States, a two-year phone plan seems
The wars in Pakistan or Yemen may not seem real to us. But to those in villages where people are dying, suffering from PTSD, and living each day in fear of another American bombing? How do they feel? Well, 74% of Pakistanis now consider the US an enemy. We can say that we are not at war with them, that we don’t want to kill them, that we just want to kill the bad guys living in their country. But they know people who have died at the hands of our drone strikes. They know that a medical team that tried to rescue innocent bystanders was later hit. To them, the civilians killed aren’t inconsequential or unavoidable side-effects of a military tactic, but family, friends, and neighbors. As much as we have distanced ourselves from all the dirty work, as impersonal as war has become for Americans half a world away, it still is personal for the people living in the middle of it. That is why we need to become aware of the wars that we are fighting and the havoc we are wreaking. Not thinking about it just because we are not in the middle of it is irresponsible, and simply creates more animosity and problems for the United States. Get educated. Become aware. And then reevaluate whether the new way we fight our battles is the right road to take.
like an awfully long time, and phones seem to wear out before then. We replace them with new phones, while the old ones are left to be buried in a landfill-turned-park, like the Baylands. Those phones will never again utilize their rare elements. Instead, strip mining and clear-cutting continue to search for new stores of rapidly-depleting resources. Big business despoils natural habitats just so it can feed the spoiled beast of consumerism. China, the world’s largest exporter, has similar issues. They see America’s lust for objects, and are happy to gorge their industry on our insipid materialism. Because of such massive industry, China now boasts not only astronomical exports, but also significant pollution. So horrible is China’s airborne pollution that one visitor to the country remarked that the best gift he could give would be an air purifier! Just this month, Harbin, a city of 5.8 million people, closed its schools, highways, and airport due to smog. China can no longer cope with such a fast rate of pollution, which is just as ruinous as our buying.
Industrialization is directly tied to environmental ruin. The world now revolves around spending and exploitation of resources. And there appears no vague hope but to quash business. Of course, with capitalism reigning supreme, little remains but to watch as the world congeals and melts with plastic and gas. Still, there are steps that the world can follow to improve such a future. For instance, the United States has never ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. We cannot improve the chances of having a healthy world without legislation. Moreover, many sources of alternative energy are available, including solar, hydroelectric, and wind. One fifth of Nevada, if covered with solar panels, could, in fact, power the entire United States. Yet, America (indeed, the whole world) runs on mostly non-renewable energy, though it is significantly more expensive in the long run and cannot support us forever. We need a new view on energy—one where alternative, clean sources are supported and mandated by law. Only then can we surmount the hurdle of climate change.
Justice Awareness Taking on the Capital
Mitty Advocacy Project Travels to D.C. By Nivedita Ahlawat Staff Writers Mr. Accorsi came to the end of his inspirational talk, commending us for our motivation, dedication, and exhaustive preparation. Then he gave each of us a penny, instructing us to hide it somewhere in the Lincoln Memorial. As I walked around the memorial, reading the text of President Lincoln’s most famous speeches, I reflected on why we were there, what we were doing, and why we were doing it. Little did I know that the next few days were about to be some of the most stressful, exciting, and rewarding in my MAP experience. During our time in Washington, D.C., the twelve representatives of the Mitty Advocacy Project attended the Ignatian Solidarity Network Conference, an annual conference hosting colleges and a few high schools from around the nation. In the inspiring opening event, speakers explained how “our earth is crying to be cared for.” Thus, we must “walk together” and stand for what we believe in: pursuing reform. We were called to take a stand and, as youth, to become the voices for a better future. We were called to critique society, to reevaluate the core beliefs of human dignity, and to assess human rights violations in our world. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa, we were called to take risks and make sacrifices for others. We were called to explore ideas and take a stance. But most importantly, we were called to find our passions and use them to truly make a difference in society. This year, MAP students have made their voices heard by using powerful videos to bring more attention to specific issues. About a month before MAP’s trip to Washington D.C., I made a video on human trafficking in San Jose with MAP officer Shannon Lam and the MAP President Sarah Stoch. In our investigation, we were shocked to discover that human traffick-
ing incidents occur within 10 miles of Archbishop Mitty. We visited some of these locations, bewildered at how ordinary they seemed. Our teachers Mr. Accorsi and Mr. Herrera accompanied us, along with an officer from the Human Trafficking Division of the San Jose Police Department. The officer explained how human trafficking occurs in even the most common places, including public libraries and schools. Significantly, our research reminded us that we need to be extremely cautious and report any suspicious activity we may witness, as the Bay Area is a human trafficking hot spot. At the conference in D.C., we ran a breakout session explaining how to make high-impact videos to effectively advocate for social justice. Videos, we explained, are currently the most compelling method of bringing awareness to justice issues, since people are generally more inclined to watch a three-minute video than to read a three-page article. Furthermore, with recent technological advancement, most people have access to the internet; advocates ought to use this resource to their advantage. Effective advocacy videos must convince audiences to take action against injustice and to become passionate about the issue. As a member of a high school legislative group, being able to teach college students and adults is empowering. It demonstrates that age does not make a difference in terms of improving conditions for the less fortunate in our society. On Monday, November 18, we went to the Capitol Building to advocate for our five chosen issues: human trafficking, criminal justice reform, youth homelessness, foster care, and higher education. We met with legislative aides from the offices
of Representative Zoe Lofgren, Representative Anna Eshoo, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Barbara Boxer. During the meetings, we presented our arguments for reform and explained why each of the issues mattered to us, as Catholics and as youth. Overall, the meetings were successful, as the congresswomen were very receptive of our work to protect the less fortunate in California. According to Utsav Ahuja, a MAP officer, the “meetings really showed how we, as youth, have the power to create lasting change in our community.” Ken Avila-Linn added, “I feel like I’m making a real difference when I’m talking directly to the people in power.” As MAP officer Katherine Kirst later told me, “I am hopeful for the future of MAP. We accomplished what we set out to do, and we did it well.” Personally, I felt that the experience was rewarding because it was a testament to the power of the teenager in today’s society. The fact that we were able to present our arguments to the leaders of our nation was extremely rewarding and inspiring. The trip, it seems, was no less rewarding for the adults involved. As Mrs. Walker reflected, “One of the coolest things from a teacher’s perspective is [watching] students learn in class and seeing them turn what they learn into something that’s real and meaningful that can influence policy in the real world. You’re prepared, passionate, committed, and they really do listen to you. Learning isn’t just in the classroom anymore.” In the same vein, Mr. Accorsi told us, “There is nothing more powerful than hearing a young student echoing the truth and when students take what they learn and pursue the truth against those forces, that’s a powerful thing. That’s what being a good human being is all about.” I never did hide my penny in the Lincoln Memorial. Instead, I kept it with me to remind me of MAP’s purpose–– of my purpose. It represents the conscious effort we make to actively be an advocate and to make a difference in the lives of others. The penny symbolizes who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Crossing Cultural Borders Outreach Fosters Diversity at Mitty
By Laura Georgiev Staff Writer W Latin American Student Union and African American Student Union: two clubs that not only embrace cultural diversity but also promote justice in the community by educ educating today’ss students about their cultures. Originally created with the intention of spreading Latin American culture throughout community, LASU has blossomed into a family of compassionate the Archbishop Mitty community ng students. In LASU’s mentor-mentee program, new members bond with each and accepting other and simultaneously build close relationships with upperclassmen, allowing them to feel accepted, appreciated, and special. This organization pairs upperclassmen with younger students to ensure that all individuals are adjusting comfortably into the Mitty community. As most Mitty students can recall, the transition from middle school to high school can often be difficult and demanding. LASU members help all students––regard students––regardless of ethnic background––to make this transition as smooth as possible. Club President Arturo Hernandez is proud to say that “this club has become a trusting family family. Anyone and everyone that wishes to participate is welcome, regardless of one’s grade point average, race, ethnic background, or color.” Mitty, In an attempt to share the uniqueness of the Latino culture with Archbishop Mitty LASU organized Mitty.. During both lunch periods, the aroma ganized an annual “food day” here at Mit Mitty of one type of traditional Mexican food––tamales––left all mouths watering. By sharing this part of their culture, LASU allowed students on campus to––literally––get a taste of what it means to be Latino. In addition, extravagantly-dressed Aztec dancers performed during lunchtime, drawing the awe of numerous students. To T the surprise of Club President
Arturo Hernandez and Co-president Diana Pina, “The Mitty students got so into it that they began to dance alongside the dancers themselves!” LASU embraces Mitty’s diversity by sharing and celebrating unique Latino traditions with the rest of the community. Similarly, the mission of the African American Student Union is to encourage students to be proud of who they are and where they come from. Projects and activities allow students to discover truths they never knew about their ancestors. Ultimately, members learn to embrace their roots. For instance, as club supervisor Mr. Walker explained, AASU once conducted an activity where “students brought in pictures of aunts, uncles, and grandparents in order to create a family tree.” Students were encouraged to speak with their family members in order to understand their past, and many were astonished to discover that some of their distant ancestors were once slaves. Coming together as a community and discussing the results of this project unified the club, since members often found themselves sharing similar stories. Furthermore, AASU takes time to examine and discuss contemporary societal issues. Because the club environment is so welcoming, students feel that they can fully express their opinions without fear of being judged. Furthermore, during Black History Month in February, AASU members not only support each other but also proudly celebrate their African American heritage. In fact, the whole school takes pride in this event and becomes quite involved. For instance, Mitty’s morning announcements feature facts known as the “Black Fact of the Day” throughout the month of February. Both LASU and AASU share their cultures with the Mitty community, helping maintain a rich and diverse school environment. They help unify all students and faculty as one diverse, accepting family.
December 2013 • Justice Awareness
Snowden and NSA Leaks
By Amulya Yerrapotu Staff Writer In May of 2013, Edward Snowden––a thirty-year-old American working as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA)––leaked up to 200,000 papers to the British newspaper The Guardian. These controversial documents revealed the existence of an unconstitutional surveillance program. With the recent trial of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and the release of The Fifth Estate––a movie centered around WikiLeaks––the concept of whistle-blowing has never received as much international attention as it is getting right now. A “whistleblower” is someone who breaks established rules to expose the wrongdoings of an organization or individuals within an organization. Whistleblowers are often polarizing figures in society and pose a unique ethical question: Is it better to follow one’s own moral and ethical compass or to risk imprisonment? Snowden’s actions have sparked a debate on government surveillance and personal privacy. On the one hand, the actions of the NSA clearly violate the rights of the American people, and NSA leaders have lied to Congress about the scope of the program. On the other hand, government officials have stated that the program is instrumental in maintaining national security. However, the controversy surrounding Snowden stretches far beyond the actions of the NSA. The debate has largely shifted to deciding whether Snowden ought to be hailed as a hero or as a traitor. According to the federal government, Snowden’s actions have significantly damaged the security of the United States. Therefore, authorities have charged Snowden with theft of government property and espionage. In response, Snowden has fled the nation, journeying first to China and then to Russia––where he is currently taking refuge. Such action has caused some to label him as a coward intent on evading justice. President Obama and other high profile government officials have publicly denounced Snowden’s actions. However, many others, including former President Jimmy Carter and fellow whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, regard Snowden as a champion of justice. Ellsberg––responsible for releasing the Pentagon Papers––has stated that he fully supports Snowden and his decision to flee. According to Ellsberg, Snowden is unlikely to receive a fair trial, as evidenced by the poor treatment of WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning. Public opinion of Snowden remains similarly divided. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center stated that, while 49% of Americans believe Snowden’s actions serve public interests, 54% nonetheless believe that Snowden should be brought to trial. Clearly, the moral questions are numerous and complex. Edward Snowden, like all whistleblowers, knowingly broke laws in order to expose what he perceived as an injustice. While laws are generally established for good reason, it is not always the best course of action to blindly follow them. However, if everyone took it upon themselves to break rules whenever they saw fit, society would collapse. There is a balance to be struck, but that balance can be difficult to see.
On November 15, leukemia patient Miles Scott took on the role of ‘Batkid’ in San Francisco. The Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled his dream to fight crime as ‘Batkid,’ furnishing him with a Batmobile, a key to Gotham city, and a police escort.
Chad Pregracke, who has dedicated his life to cleaning the Mississippi River and other U.S. waterways, was named CNN’s Hero of the Year.
How Search Engines are Serving as a Societal Wake-Up Call
By Catherine Gong and Rasika Raghavan Staff Writers Google autocomplete does exactly what it sounds like: it completes our search queries before we completely type them out, and usually does so quite accurately. The service is a prediction of what many people are searching and what they are interested in. Recently, UN Women––a branch of the UN that focuses specifically on women’s rights––created a campaign centered on Google autocomplete suggestions after employees Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai stumbled across alarming suggested searches such as “women need to be disciplined” and “women shouldn’t work.” The UN branch decided to initiate its “Women Should” campaign as a “wake-up call” to help people understand “just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality,” according to Art Director Christopher Hunt. In campaign ads, screencaps of these chauvinistic searches were placed over the mouths of women, as if to silence them. This campaign confronts us with the reality that, even in the twenty-first century and in a progressive country like the United States, sexism still exists. It is true that the United States is ahead of
many countries in providing women with equal rights and opportunities, but there is still much work left to do. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 analysis, the US was ranked 23rd in the Global Gender Report––a study that rates 136 countries on how women are progressing economically, socially, and politically. A White House Project report found that across 10 leading sectors of the economy, women held only 18% of leadership positions. In addition to reviving awareness, this campaign has shed light on what Google’s autocorrect is able to reveal about society in general. When the UN experimented with Google’s mechanism again––this time for the LGBT community––by typing in “Gays should,” they were equally shocked by the disturbing results that popped up. The campaign has served as both a renewal of feminism and a reality check to remind society of the work still needed if equality for women, gays, bisexuals, and all other members of society is to be achieved. Hopefully, as people become more aware of this campaign’s message, their responses will morph into actions that work towards the creation of a equitable world.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo never finished his lecture to law students at the University of Cádiz. Spanish fishermen invaded the university in protest and forced the minister to exit through a backdoor.
One of the stadiums being built in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup collapsed on November 27, killing two workers. This worsens fears that Brazil will not be adequately prepared for the soccer tournament next year.
A Nation within a Nation By Amy Baylis and Niharika Bhat Staff Writers In July of 2000, the Gullah/Geechee community became an independent nation. Located on the Eastern coast of the United States, the nation spans from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and includes all of the islands directly off the coast. These lands are often referred to as “a nation within a nation,” and for good reason. The Gullah people are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans who once lived across the agrarian South. Over the generations, this community has grown in size. It continues to be dedicated to preserving and promoting its history, culture, language, and homeland. The Gullah/ Geechee people have maintained much of their original African and early African-American culture––specifically their language, which incorporates various African dialects and aspects of English. Their lifestyles still resonate with the pre-modern traditions of their ancestors but, in many ways, the Gullah people are ahead of the times. Most significantly, the Gullah/Geechee appointed a female to govern and represent them, both locally and internationally. Queen Quet was elected as the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s first Chieftess and Head-of-State. Born as Marquette L. Goodwine, Queen Quet was among the first independent minority leaders to speak at the United Nations Convention in Geneva. Not only did she proudly stand by the ideals of her nation, but she also embraced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a model for humanitarian associations across the world. Perhaps as a result of their ancestry as African-American slaves, the Gullah/Geechee embody the notion of equal rights to an extent that even the U.S. has not been able to replicate. Most Americans live in complete ignorance of the blossoming nation that shares our shores, but this ignorance must end now. The Gullah/Geechee nation is a culturally rich group of people who demonstrate some of the characteristics that we, as a society, should seek to implement in our own lives. However, this historically significant state is dangerously close to extinction: it has fallen victim to increasing financial demands and urbanization. This beautiful community may soon be wiped out by the U.S. highways and custodial land suits that have cut wide swaths out of the already shrinking nation. In addition, the Gullah lands along the Carolina coasts are home to some of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Recently, realtors and resort companies have been working to oust the Gullah/Geechee people from this region by increasing real estate prices. Without the funding necessary to regain their territory, the Gullah people may lose not only their land, but also their centuries-old cultural ties, to invasive industrialization. The Gullah/Geechee nation serves as a symbol of culture and the preservation of tradition. As a nation rooted in the past but ahead of its time, it deserves to remain as a vital aspect of North American diversity.
Justice Awareness • December 2013 A collection of artwork––estimated to be worth 1.4 billion USD––was discovered in a Munich apartment. Many of the pieces of artwork are believed to have been stolen by the Nazis when they were in power.
Egypt’s interim president approved a law that imposes new restrictions on protests in the country. The law also allows police to use force against protesters who commit violations.
China announced that it will relax its decades-long one-child policy and abolish its ‘re-education through labor’ system in an effort to improve human rights.
Aboriginal communities continue to gain media attention arguing that the current system is stacked against hard-working Aboriginal people.
Typhoon Haiyan Justice after the Storm By Brenan Balbido Staff Writer In early November, Typhoon Haiyan wrought destruction on the Philippines, with storm clouds stretching out over one thousand miles and wind speeds reaching 150 miles per hour. The decentralized nature of the country’s villages and its poor infrastructure compounded the devastation. In response to this disaster, organizations and foreign countries have put forth efforts to provide aid to those affected. But in the midst of these efforts, government corruption within the Philippines is hindering recovery. Like many other Filipino immigrants, my parents were skeptical about giving aid to Philippine governmental agencies, which have regularly proven corrupt. This problem has long been a part of the Philippines, as highlighted through a recent report by Transparency International. Every year, the civil liberties organization gives nations a score correlating with the amount of corruption in the nation (0 being most corrupt, 100 being least corrupt). The Philippines received a score of 34 in 2012, underscoring the unreliability of its government.
Sixteen and Unstoppable Malala’s Fight for Women’s Education By Laura Cervantes Staff Writer We all have idols, inspirations, and people we deem as worthy of reverence. Oftentimes, these people are adults and celebrities—hardly relatable. Enter Malala Yousafzai, the sixteen-year-old girl and activist who has now become a role model for millions across the world. If you haven’t yet heard of the girl who stunned the world with her valiant efforts and extreme bravery, it’s safe to say you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years. In all seriousness, however, Malala’s case is one that will surprise and inspire many. A blogger and advocate of female rights since the age of eleven, Malala frequently wrote pieces for BBC advocating women’s education––a human right denied by the Taliban, the most powerful Islamic fundamentalist group in Afghanistan. Malala fought vehemently for her beliefs, an effort which clearly threatened many in power. On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Malala has since recovered, reflecting openly on her injury and explaining its influence on her goals for the future. Despite the adversity she faces, Malala continues to lead a life of activism, frequently voicing her opinions on the subject of women’s education and spurring a worldwide movement of sympathy and action. Here’s the cold, hard truth: According to data compiled by the Right to Education Project, girls comprise over 50% of those 75 million children currently denied primary education. Worse, women form the vast majority of the 776 million illiterate persons worldwide. Even girls who do enroll in primary school may have irregular attendance. Their education is not
prioritized as compared to that of male students. Girls are more likely to repeat years, to drop out early, or to fail key subjects. In many countries, females are also less likely to pursue higher education. Additionally, in such places, girls who do attend school may be prone to physical and mental abuse. As revealed in a report by Transparency International, there are numerous cases of teachers taking advantage of their positions of power by sexually abusing female students. Yet, despite the shortcomings, education can make all the difference in a girl’s life. It can allow her to take control of her own life, spur economic growth within the nation, prevent the spread of STD’s, avert early pregnancy, preclude abuse, and––ultimately––end the cycle of oppression and misogyny that women have been facing for centuries. Education helps women claim their rights and realize their potential in economic, political and social fields. It is also the single most powerful way to lift entire societies out of poverty. Particularly for girls, education plays an important role in laying the foundation for a successful transition to adulthood. Therefore, it must be the centerpiece of any movement countering the gender-based discrimination against females, which remains prevalent in many societies today. Using women’s education as a medium for change, Malala has shown us the power of standing up for what we want or, rather, what we need. Her message is profound both in its simplicity and its impact. Whether it is poverty, terrorism, or social limitations that bar girls from education, the issues that Malala is confronting are widespread and cause significant concern. The young heroine endorses an idea of equality that can bring about transformative change in the world. Now, it is up to us to do something about it.
Fiscal mismanagement has significantly hindered Filipino disaster relief efforts. Corazon Soliman, the secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development, says that “fraud goes hand in hand with natural disasters,” as seen in the aftermaths of Tropical Storm Washi in 2011, Typhoon Bopha in 2012, and the central Bohol earthquake in October 2013. For example, non-governmental organizations are said to have stolen $20.7 million after a storm damaged northern Luzon Island in 2009. Corruption is also to blame for the shoddy infrastructure of the Philippine islands. Lack of sufficient funding for roads has led to poor infrastructure, which prevented many citizens from escaping the storm. Poverty places many Filipinos in shanties that are unable to resist strong typhoons. Furthermore, even if a Filipino is lucky enough to purchase a home, he or she is still not safe from losing his or her home to the storm, since building codes are often not enforced in the Philippines. With significant governmental improvements, Philippine society could be drastically improved. Dr. Diane A. Desierto, a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu, cites four direct benefits of lessening corruption. First, the Philippines could develop early warning systems against storms. Second, the nation can use funds for reconstruction efforts. Third, it would be able to create employment opportunities for skilled Filipinos. Fourth, the Philippine government could improve its public health and education systems.
The current president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, has been working hard to eliminate corruption in the Philippines throughout his three years in office. In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, he aims to prove to the international community that the government is now more capable than previous administrations in dealing with natural disasters. He even promised transparency during reconstruction and set up a website, Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, to achieve this purpose. The website allows individuals to track the use of foreign monetary assistance. By donating wisely through private companies and news networks, donors have the opportunity to not only assist the Philippines in their disaster relief efforts but also prevent money from being squandered by government figures. The Philippines need the assistance of many to recover from this disaster. Do not allow one unreliable government to sway you from helping many in need.
The Holidays Sweet smells of freshly baked cookies and catchy tunes of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer are some of the many telltale signs of the return of the beloved holiday season. Christmas is in the air and it is truly the most wonderful time of the year. And with the season come snowflakes, fruitcake, and best of all, winter break. Soon, people will be hanging mistletoes, singing Christmas carols, roasting chestnuts, and setting up the all the spectacular lights and inflatables. There will be lighting of candles or a fun game of the Dreidel as well. All in all, this holiday season is a festive time of year filled with laughter, love, and joy.
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Dropping the Apple By Kendall Shieh, Staff Writer On New Years Eve, Times Square becomes unimaginably crowded at about 11:00 am. Thousands of people from around the world fill the streets of New York City and are willing to wait over 10 hours for the New Years ball to drop and ring in the New Year. Last year, I was lucky enough to be a part of this massive celebration. Despite the impossibly long wait and twenty-eight degree, freezing weather, it was an experience that I will replay in my mind forever. When the clock hit twelve and the colorful confetti rained from the sky, the feeling of sheer joy and unity was incredible. The celebration enveloped me and the feeling of the New Year really sunk in, like never before.
During this time of year, some people choose to decorate the Christmas Tree, while for others, dinner with family and friends truly celebrates the beloved holidays. Of course, there are the presents as well! Most importantly, each person has his or her own unique holiday traditions to share. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, make sure to check out these stories and activities that will surely warm your heart. Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! — Kenny Nguyen, Staff Writer
Holiday Poll Compiled by Focus Editors After polling 30 AMHS students from every class about their holiday activities, here are the results!
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Winter Poem By Poulomi Banerjee Staff Writer I glare outside my window, as the snow falls from the sky, Bit by bit. My heart fills up with a cozy sensation as the fire flares in the fireplace. Thoughts of Christmas, snowmen, bells of different sorts flash by my mind.
Memories rush as I see my younger self snuggling with the warmest blanket in the house on Christmas Eve and waking to see the disappearance of the cookies and milk. I continue glaring outside my window when I realize that Winter is near.
I think about the smiles upon the faces of the children receiving their presents for the first time.
Peppermint Bark Recipe
The holidays are always an exciting and festive time. Every year my family and I enjoy making peppermint bark together to kick of the holidays. We love to mix it in with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve, while we are visiting my grandmother and opening presents. Here is an easy recipe to create delicious peppermint bark you can make at home and start your own tradition! Ingredients: 12 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract 1 pound good-quality white chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces 3 candy canes or 12 round hard peppermint candies, crushed 1. Line a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil on the shiny side up and make sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Heat 1 inch of water in a saucepan over low heat until steaming. 2. Put all but 3/4 cup of the semisweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan
of steaming water and stir until 1/3 of the chocolate is melted. Remove the bowl from the saucepan; keep the steaming water over low heat. Gradually stir the reserved 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate into the bowl, a few pieces at a time, until all the chocolate is melted. Do not rush this step: it may take up to 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. 3. Stir 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract into the chocolate, then quickly pour into the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer. Firmly tap the dish against the counter to remove any air bubbles. Set aside at room temperature until almost set, for about 10 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, put all but one cup of the white chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and repeat the melting process over the steaming water. Stir in the remaining 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract; pour over the semisweet chocolate and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle immediately with crushed candy canes, gently pressing them into the white chocolate. Set aside at room temperature until firm. —Clarissa Vokt, Staff Writer
By Sumeet Bansal Staff Writer Every year, children anxious for a glimpse of Santa Claus aren’t the only ones on the lookout. Around Christmas time, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, diverts its attention from possible air and space attacks on the United States, to Santa’s speeding red sleigh through its “NORAD Tracks Santa” program, which follows Santa through the night as he delivers his presents. This odd tradition traces its roots back to December 1955, when a Sears department store placed a faulty ad in the Colorado Springs newspaper, which listed Santa’s telephone number. When the first callers dialed the number, they weren’t greeted
by St. Nick, but rather by Colonel Harry Shoup, who was manning the emergency telephone only to be used in the event that the Soviets had launched an air offensive. When Shoup realized the error, he decided to play along, pulling the radar operators off duty to take the incoming calls and speak to the callers as if they were Santa. This goodwill gesture became an annual tradition ever since. Today, NORAD enlists hundreds of volunteers to handle upwards of 10,000 emails and over 70,000 calls throughout the day, even handhand ing out eleven-page playbooks containing answers to the most comcom mon questions asked, such as Santa’s age (at least sixteen centuries).
Dr. Dreidel By Arielle Sanghvi, Staff Writer Oh, Hanukkah--my favorite Jewish holiday. Who can complain about eight days filled with presents, chocolate coins, and delicious latkes? Hanukkah celebrates the ancient story of how a tiny ounce of oil burned a candle in the ruins of the Jewish temple for eight straight days. Traditionally, Jews light one candle for each night of Hanukkah on the menorah, the branched candleholder, and let it burn until the next morning. To celebrate, we eat oily foods, like latkes
(potato pancakes) with sour cream and applesauce, and with sufganiyot, or jelly donuts. My family adds our own spin on these traditions by bringing in my Dad’s Indian heritage, and indulging in our fair share of samosas. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of hope in a community, as well as the miracle of winning a game of dreidel against my siblings for the bag of gelt, or chocolate coins. This holiday truly allows me to appreciate all the little miracles present in my life.
Arts & Entertainment
aight: Bay r t S d Are or c e a R Vin e h T yl g n By Nicole Rejer Staff Writer
es or St
1. One of the most popular icons of the Haight in San Francisco, Amoeba Music is the best place to start your search for treasured records. With a huge selection of almost every genre you could think of, you can get lost flipping through new and old records, or spend hours poring over the endless selection of $1 CDs. It’s a music lover’s dream come true, and if you are looking for a little more, there’s a huge selection of books, movies, posters, and other miscellaneous items, such as antique action figures, that bring back a sense of nostalgia. With the largest variety of music and live band performances you can find in the Bay Area, Amoeba should definitely be on your “Places To Go” List.
2. Established in 1970 in San Francisco, the oldest of its kind in the Bay Area. range of world, psychedelic, and metal indie rock and reggae to hip hop and carries a pretty small selection in record is hand chosen by the staff of nados.” If you think you’ve heard itching for new sounds to discover,
Aquarius Records, an independent store, is It is best known for carrying a wide music, and has everything from country. Although the store comparison to others, every self-proclaimed “music aficioeverything out there and are this is the place to go.
By Anamaria Falcone Staff Writer Halloween may be over, but the nightmare of quality to the scene when one of the girls films the Carrie still lives on in the hearts of horror fans like whole ordeal on her phone and uploads Carrie’s embarrassing moment onto the Internet. me across the globe. The modernization of the movie with cyberFor those of you unfamiliar with Stephen King’s classic, Carrie is the story of a 17-year-old bullying not only appeals more to a younger audigirl who is struggling to understand her newly ence, but it highlights the horrors of cyber abuse. found telekinetic powers while facing abuse from This makes bullying in general a greater theme in the her mother and bullies at school. A famous pig updated version in comparison to the original, which blood-related prank at prom sends her into an un- doesn’t touch upon the subject in as much detail. The greatest difference between both films is controllable rage that leaves no one with a happy ending. In 2013, it’s difficult to compare Carrie the escalation of Carrie’s powers prior to the climax with its predecessor from 1976 because even though of the movie, when her patience snaps at the prom. they’re the same story, both movies take a different There’s a greater sense of suspense in the 1976 version since Carrie exhibits minimal telekinetic approach to the central plot of the original novel. In 1976, the role of Carrie was cast with Sissy qualities throughout the film, which makes her final Spacek, who was 27 at the time. Obviously this scene all the more surprising when her powers are was less realistic since the actors didn’t seem as unleashed. The 2013 version takes an entirely different adolescent as actual teenagers might. The 2013 remake of the movie casts Chloë approach to the tension—there is none of it. The Grace Moretz, a real teen, in the lead role. Though new Carrie demonstrates the danger of her powers this may seem like a subtle change, casting a early on, so her strength is no surprise at the end. younger actress in the role of Carrie makes the This, however, is slightly understandable since fomovie more realistic since Moretz radiates a greater cusing more on her powers right away appeals to a sense of innocence than Spacek does. Though both younger audience which is used to fast-paced plots females present the awkwardness and nervousness rather than slow, suspense-based plots. As you can see, it’s not easy to compare the of Carrie’s character well, Moretz has that childlike 2013 version of the movie to the 1976 version since quality that makes her seem more like a teen. they’re appealing to different In addition, the updated generations of moviegoers. version of the movie takes a Though I personally enjoyed stronger stance against the growthe modernization of the new ing problem of cyber-bullying. movie, I’m unsettled by the The shower scene where Carrie lack of suspense built by Cargets bombarded with feminine rie’s powers. hygiene products by other girls So, which is better: Caras she screams in agony for help rie (1976) or Carrie (2013)? is equally disturbing in both verYou’re going to have to see sions. However, the new version both to decide. adds an even more sickening
12/13: Kalin and Myles at the Regency Hotel Ballroom
12/18: 99.7 NOW! Presents Icona Pop at the Fillmore 12/20: Jazz Choir (6:00 PM), Jazz in the AM (7:00 PM), & Exodus (8:00 PM) at Christmas in the Park
January 1/10-18: The Mystery of Edwin Drood at 7:30 PM in the Kinkade Theater 1/19: Justin Timberlake at the SAP Center 1/23: Jake Bugg at the Fox Theater
If you’re into the stores that cater to indie, punk, or rock n roll types of music, Streetlight Records is a great store right here in San Jose that has a great vibe and a selection that will keep you crate-digging for hours. With a friendly staff and pretty much every genre you could listen to, Streetlight excels in its balance of variety in new music, as well as carrying classics.
12/13-26: Ballet San Jose’s The Nutcracker
12/15: 94.9 Presents Wild Jam ft. J. Cole, Ariana Grande, & more at SAP Center
3. With eight different Bay Area locations, Rasputin Records is also a notable store to pay a visit to. Although Rasputin may not always have extensive variety in vinyl, the huge collection of old CD’s, books, VHS tapes, shirts, posters, and movies more than makes up for it. The prices are also much less expensive than at other stores, with many CDs selling at as low as 50 cents. Rasputin is a great stepping stone for those who want to discover more about old school music and culture, but aren’t sure where to begin. 4.
1/29: The Eagles at the SAP Center 1/30: George Strait at the SAP Center
T H E L E G E N D C O N T I N U E S
What would you say is the difference between a television show for kids and one for adults? Is it the amount of violence and promiscuity in the show? Or is it the level of excellence in the show’s plot and characters? If it’s the latter, then the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Legend of Korra can be billed as an adult show—even if it airs on a kids’ channel. While The Legend of Korra certainly is popular, its predecessor, By Siddharth Kulkarni Avatar: The Last Airbender, has gathStaff Writer ered a huge and dedicated following, as well as several accolades, including an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. Both shows are set in a world where people live in four separate nations based on the four classical elements. Certain individuals, known as “benders,” can telekinetically control fire, water, earth, or air. The main character, the Avatar, is the only one who can control all four elements, and attempts to bring peace to a world at war. But perhaps the show’s greatest achievement is its refusal to be bound by the unspoken restrictions of the entertainment industry by breaking gender and race tropes. The show has several characters who are from varied cultures, and also passes the Bechdel test for women in media, with several strong female characters, heroes and villains alike. The Legend of Korra’s titular character, the 18-year-old Avatar Korra, was almost changed to a teenage boy by Nickelodeon, but after test audiences proclaimed having a female lead to be “awesome,” the studios backed down. While the show’s plot is a little less nuanced this time around, the increased amount of episodes allows for some great character development concluding in a stunning four-episode finale that was actually released a week early after fans on Tumblr reblogged a specific Korra-related post 10,000 times in a mere two hours. This season continues the trend of having better animation with each passing year, and has an even more impressive soundtrack that blends elements of jazz with traditional Asian influences. Overall, Avatar: The Legend of Korra lives up to its predecessor. It’s a cartoon that transcends its genre and manages to serve not only as entertainment, but also as a source of timeless life lessons for kids, adults, and teens alike. In its two remaining seasons, if Korra can master the four elements of superb animation, intricate plot, mature character development, and real-world themes, then perhaps it too can bring balance to the world of animated television.
Arts & Entertainment • December 2013
As a literary obsessed, self-proclaimed “scholar,” it comes as no surprise that Shawn Clifford’s (pictured at left) wardrobe and style directly reflect his personality. “I think my style is very appropriate for the period of time I’m at in my life,” Shawn reveals, while pausing to reference his John Steinbeck sweatshirt. Clearly possessing a much more mature and developed fashion sense than the average high school junior, Shawn eloquently describes his personal style as “coffee,” “debonair,” and “leather.” Drawing inspiration from less-known online shops, such as Frank and Oak, and more mainstream stores like J. Crew and Nordstrom, he is refreshingly aware of the importance of quality in a garment. Similarly, he values consistency in regards to dressing for school and revolves around the classic wardrobe of a button up shirt with rolled sleeves, chinos, and Cole Haan shoes. He lists several items—such as cool socks and a good pair of jeans—that everyone should own and have in their closets. For such a young, vibrant person, Shawn possesses enviable and timeless qualities that are generously incorporated into his everyday outfits. Still, he was not always so keen on dressing nicely. He recalls his style transformation from freshman to junior year to be a transition “from swag to style.” Shawn doesn’t come across as someone looking to ever fall back into his “skater” ways.
FASHI$N LANE By Kendall Perata & Emily Wetzel Staff Writers
a. b. c. d. Match each fashion essential with the student! a. Piper
b. Alexander c. Rachel
Her long, auburn hair makes freshman Piper Lewis (pictured below) instantly stand out in a crowd, and perfectly complements her subtle and relaxed vintage style. Piper considers her sister and mother to be inspiration for her daily outfits, and a pair of Doc Martens, handed down from her mother, is one of her favorite pieces in her wardrobe. She comments that these boots, with their army green color and suede material, “are not like the Docs I usually see, and I like that they’re original.” Supporting a functional yet adaptable wardrobe, Piper also lists a pair of nice boots and a denim jacket as her outfit essentials. Both of these items are very versatile, and therefore hold a place in any closet. As a freshman, she looks back on her middle school days and notes, “I’ve definitely grown into my own style and started wearing what I like. In middle school, I wore what everyone else wore, even if it wasn’t my own style.” Today, Piper gravitates towards the bohemian look, listing stores like American Apparel and Brandy Melville as her favorite places to shop. She values originality, and her determination to dress for herself as opposed to what others expect her to wear ensures that her style truly reflects her personality.
Sophomore Alexander Bailess’s (pictured above) energetic and excited personality facilitates his love for clothing and shopping, but perfectly contrasts his easygoing and laid back style. Interestingly enough, he started to form an independent style from a simple compliment. He states, “Freshman year my style was really lazy and unplanned and I just wore whatever was comfortable. But one day this year I put together a nice outfit and got complimented a lot. After that I started dressing better and caring more about what I wore.” Today, his effortlessly put together look sticks out amongst his peers and even though his style is original, he credits stores like Volcom, PAC Sun, and Vans as his go-to’s for the basics that make up the foundation of his wardrobe. Alex values classy simplicity and remarks that every guy could use sweaters, khaki pants and good, basic tee shirts in his closet. Although Alex doesn’t follow the fashion industry closely, he considers Alexander Wang to be his favorite designer, and identifies with his modern but laid-back designs. In a crowd of teenage boys that often all dress alike, Alexander Bailess is a breath of fresh air and originality.
Senior Rachel Wakley’s (pictured at right) original style can be attributed to her artistic and unique personality. Talking to her, it’s evident that she’s not afraid to stick out from the crowd and be different. She characterizes her style as being “only what I want and nonconformist.” Although Rachel makes her style look modern, she notes how most of her wardrobe comes from thrift stores and her mother’s closet. She takes inspiration from tumblr and her friend Myha’la Herrold, and has even tried to make her own clothes (though she mentions that the attempt was unsuccessful). Rachel names a pair of purple Doc Martens as her favorite piece in her closet and talks about how she wears them frequently with dresses and skirts, a look that she considers to be her “uniform.” One of her favorite looks is the classic “little black dress.” She discusses how she wears it once a week, but, because she dresses it up or down, it always feels special. Although having an individualistic style is clearly a focus for Rachel, she never comes across as actually trying to stand out. Her friendly personality is genuine and her style is effortless. However, she is quick to reassure us that this wasn’t always the case. She says, “Freshman year I was kind of awkward and didn’t really dress for me or dress well. Since then, I’ve learned what looks good on me and I’ve become more unique.” Well, it is very clear to any observer that Rachel has successfully developed her fashion sense since freshman year, and could very well inspire others to do the same.
THRIFTIN AND GIFTIN
By Sindhu Giri Staff Writer As economically deprived teenagers, we don’t have a lot of money to cash out on new gifts for friends and family. So what do we give to expecting friends and family during this upcoming holiday season? An easy and affordable answer is to spend an afternoon at the various thrift stores and consignment shops in our area. By shopping at vintage stores, not only will you present a unique gift to your loved ones, but you’ll also be able to keep a few more dollars in your wallet. A few of my favorite thrift and consignment stores are Black and Brown, Crossroads Trading Co., and various Goodwill locations. A few easy tips for gift shopping would be: Look for hidden brand names: A great way to surprise and indulge your friends is to give them a brand name item they’ve always wanted. However, finding authentic brand names can be a challenge since you need to sort through several boxes of goods and recognize a scam from an original piece. To recognize counterfeits, take pictures of authentic logos of several brands and compare to what you see in stores. Additionally, make sure all the books have covers to guarantee a copyright seal. However, do not buy the gift just for the brand name, as you can find appropriate, quality gifts at all price points and brands.
Look for snags, rips, or holes: Before purchasing any item, make sure to thoroughly check for holes or scratches because you want to give a new gift. For knitwear, look out for moth holes. For silky clothing items, make sure there aren’t any snags through the fabric. If the clothing items smell musty, make sure to take them home and wash them or use a cleaning spray to get rid of the smell. For shoes, make sure the soles aren’t too worn in and polish the outside of the shoes if they are scuffed. Finally, records should be in good condition without scratches.
Find unique, personalized gifts: Thrift shopping makes it convenient to present a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones. Look for unique fur jackets or classic leather boots to present to your very fashionable friend (we all have one!). Colorful artwork or funky home decor can spice up drab settings. Costume jewelry can appear expensive, however it can be bought for a fraction of the price. With all of these choices, make sure to create a list for each gift-receiving member and write down their hobbies and interests in order to pick out a representative gift for each of your loved ones.
Don’t be boxed in one section: Don’t completely restrict yourself to only the jewelry section or just the record section. You can transform several pieces into completely different gifts. For example, take a printed scarf and transform it into a book cover or take a pair of jeans and distress them into a grungy pair of shorts. Several rings can be strung onto a chain to create an original necklace. An array of classic leather belts or oversized sweaters are perfect for the winter season can be found in the men’s section of thrift store.
The Daily Grind By Rachel Austefjord Staff Writer
There are a few cliques here and there even among our faculty, but there is none quite like the one that wears the Coffee Crown at this school. The oldest of any burgeoning coffee “gangs” is the Coffee Club, consisting of Mr. Bill Abb, Mr. Mason Kimont, Mr. Will Scharrenberg, and Mr. Carl Silva. This group boasts some of the most powerful members at the school, including two Department Chairs, an Athletic Director, and everyone’s favorite New York trip leader. The crew’s caffeine explorations lead them to bring coffee to each other daily. For example, every morning, a rotation of members can be seen walking into the Music Center with a tray of fresh cups, delivering Mr. Kimont’s coffee of choice to him as he teaches his 7 a.m. Jazz Band class. Starting this year, their favorite establishment became Philz Coffee, a trendy Bay Area chain. It was their affinity for the new chain that convinced Philz to provide the complimentary coffee for this year’s Java and Jazz concert this past September. Additionally, according to Mr. Kimont the Coffee Club performs acts of charity, like the Twelve Days of Coffee, when they bring a gourmet cup of coffee to random teachers they pull from a drawing in the spirit of the holidays. Their kind acts of giving make me question if they are really a “gang,” or more of a coffee fraternity. These brothers of coffee are clearly confident that they are the top dogs of the school when it comes to caffeine. Could anybody ever overthrow the coffee superstars that are in the Coffee Club?
December 2013 • Arts & Entertainment
Directing the Future
By A&E Editors Alfred Hitchcock. John Hughes. Woody Allen. As three of the most iconic directors of all time, their individual marks on Hollywood and the film industry have left profound impacts on modern cinema and popular culture. Their creations have shaped the way the world views and interprets history, people, and future generations, making them far more than just successful directors, but influential and significant artists. The way directors helm their productions not only affects how their movies are made, but how each message is portrayed. The prospective film students below have distinct visions for their future careers and hope to have similar impacts. Watch out world—anyone can pick up a camera and start filming, but these students have the ability to revolutionize the industry for generations to come.
What aspect of filming (production, directing, editing) entices you the most and why? Editing definitely entices me the most. To me, this is the aspect of film where one is really capable of leaving his or her mark on the film. Everyone has a different editing style, so when someone watches my videos, they know they’re mine. I love this because it’s my way of making a video personal, and I am able to connect with everyone who watches it. How do the films you produce represent you? I really like to broadcast people’s emotions in my videos. I enjoy making other people really feel something when they are watching my films. I try to get candid video shots of people so I can capture raw emotions: actors can only portray so much. Videos should tell a story and make people feel what the filmmaker was feeling when he or she made the video. I am extremely passionate about every film I make—that passion is how my videos represent me. Describe the special college app. process for your major. When applying to film school, I had to write at least one to three extra essays, create a resume, and produce a video. My movie was centered around the experiences I’ve had in the past three and a half years and how they have led me to the college of my choice; I incorporate my friends, my family and the principles by which I live my life to create a sense of who I am and who I want to be.
What is your dream job in the film industry? I knew that I wanted to work as an animator at Pixar Animations Studio after I watched a bonus feature of The Incredibles, which gave a tour of Pixar. What caught my attention was the fact that every Pixar employee mentioned how working at Pixar had allowed them to keep pieces of their childhood. I want this. I want to create films that children will be able to enjoy and remember as they grow older.
Describe the special college app. process for your major. I applied for the Digital Arts Major at the Dodge College of Chapman University. For the art supplement, I told the story of a girl who is bored during her class and draws in her notebook. The characters she creates bring color and light to her black and white classroom, helping her enjoy school. Through this video, I want people to see that drawing brings about creativity and clarity, as well as helps one learn. The video took me 2 weeks to finish, but I enjoyed the entire process.
What made you want to get into animation? Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to work at an animation studio. I am always drawing in my notebooks, homework, and on my iPad. What I find amazing is that, through animation, simple drawings can be brought to life: each character has an identity and personality. When a character’s personality is visible, then people are able to easily connect with him or her and the story.
Are there any specific people you hope to work with someday? I want to work with the people who will grind in the after hours and give every task their all, because I would do the same. James Cameron is passionate about his end product being the best it can be, and it shows, as he has directed, written, and produced the top two highest grossing films of all time. His determination to produce meaningful films that draw attention from audiences makes him my filmmaking idol. How has your interest in film impacted you? I want to take the film industry back to the roots of visual storytelling by making films with a purpose. Ever since ECJ: South Africa, I have wanted my films to shape the world-views of the audience. The art of filmmaking is not dependent on blockbuster actors and special effects. Just like a good book makes a reader break apart imagery and metaphors to determine the true meaning, films must do the same. Describe the special college app. process for your major. Two years ago I participated in a workshop at a local television studio. It helped me discover that my interest had developed into a passion, as I spent my summer volunteering there. Though the film schools of Southern California are extremely competitive, my work experiences add to the appeal of my application. Film production majors must upload additional art supplements, including extra essays and a film showing one’s strengths. My film tells the story of a boy in need of self-discovery as he meets a girl who helps get him off of his feet, using symbolism that describes who I am.
Where would you like to see your career go? I would love to have a job on any horror film set, and, eventually, work my way up be a successful horror film director. I have very set visions of what I want my films to look like; these visions keep expanding along with my passion for sharing stories this way. I know this is a difficult industry to progress in, but I am a very stubborn person and when I am told I can’t do something, I don’t stop trying until I do accomplish it. Describe the special college app. process for your major. For some film schools, nothing extra is needed and one can just apply, but most require a portfolio of recent projects needed. For Dodge, the film school at Chapman, I had to make a short film that described who I am without physically representing myself. I created a film called “The Shadow” in one day—it was a hectic weekend—with help from my friend Alyssa Yoffie who is also a senior here at Archbishop Mitty.
What inspired you to pursue film? How is this inspiration represented in your films? I have always loved horror movies, but when I was little they would scare me. To help get over the fear I would watch behind the scenes cuts to better understand the production of and reality behind the film; I was enthralled by the director and cast laughing about the illusion they were able to create to scare people. I love being scared, and the directors of old and new horror movies have inspired me to channel this ability to evoke feelings in my films.
Arts & Entertainment • December 2013
Some Loose Ends
Allegiant…But to Whom?
By Jenny Barretto Staff Writer
By Lauren Dang Staff Writer
This November, Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi tale took to the big screens in a film adaptation. Starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, Ender’s Game is set in Earth’s future as humanity is preparing to fight an alien enemy, the formics. In preparation for the invasion, the smartest children on earth, including Ender Wiggin, are trained at a battle school in space where they learn war tactics through games and simulations. The movie follows Ender through basic training and space schooling as he is forced to overcome many mental and physical obstacles in order to save humanity and forever alter his fate. Ender’s Game may be a visually impressive, science fiction spectacular, but it unfortunately lacks substance. Scenes lack necessary cohesion, and the plot escalates too quickly and unnaturally. Ender’s journey through schooling is breezed through in order to focus on the excitement of the battle games and simulations that make up most of the movie and that, while visually stunning, don’t really tell the story. The film’s coherence is sacrificed as it focuses more time on the battle visuals, rather than
Ender’s development and significance of his journey. Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is arguably one of the greatest works in science fiction in the last 50 years. It dabbles in politics, war, philosophy, family, and extraterrestrial thought, appealing to readers of all ages and interests. But the movie version of this story leaves behind some of the novel’s charm by avoiding emotional moments, and while the special effects are fantastic, but they do not quite encapsulate the heart of Ender’s story in the way Card’s words do in the novel. Yet, though the movie may not do its novel justice, it provides a great visual complement to Ender’s story. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t done so already to pick up this novel prior to seeing the movie because Ender’s Game may be unsatisfactory as a stand alone sci-fi movie. Still, I would strongly recommend it to every sci-fi addict, Card reader, or Asa Butterfield lover. Combining crazy effects and the infectious story of a young boy, Ender’s Game provides an invigorating visual experience and is perfect for audiences of all ages.
Since the release of Veronica Roth’s sequel to Divergent last spring, fans have been eagerly anticipating the third and final book of the series: Allegiant. On the day of its release, its record-breaking number of sales, 455,000 on the first day, earned it the number one spot on USA TODAY’s BestSelling Book list while Divergent and Insurgent took the number 6 and 14 spots, respectively. (Ed.: spoilers begin here.) Roth starts out Allegiant with a twist. Surprisingly, the book is narrated by Tris and Tobias. Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent ended. Believing that removing certain qualities would make them genetically stronger, the majority of the U.S. population had their DNA altered. The government quickly discovered that those people actually became weaker, more compulsive, and therefore damaged. The G.P. (genetically pure) had no alterations and became a superior human race. The G.D. waged war against the G.P., resulting in massive destruction and chaos. Unable to shake the feeling that he truly
is damaged, Tobias joins a plot to overthrow the elitist Bureau of Genetics officers and restore equality. The group elects Caleb to undergo the fatal task of erasing the entire bureau’s memories. In a final act of bravery, Tris takes Caleb’s place. Though she succeeds in the group’s mission, in the same instant, the president of the bureau discovers her intentions and shoots her. Though Roth fans are outraged at the sudden end to Divergent’s heroine, I found that the book provided more than enough closure. In fact, Roth seemed to overcompensate for her lack of information in the previous two books. But rather than including real action scenes, Roth instead informs the reader of intense but irrelevant backstories. Overall, Allegiant just doesn’t fit with the rest of the series; it is in a dramatically different location and is narrated by two characters, which proved extremely confusing for me. If you want all the details of this twisting story, make sure to buy Allegiant at a local bookstore or on your iPad. It is a definite must-read.
In a Nutshell
By Winni Cherukuri Staff Writer
By Kasturi Kulkarni Staff Writer
By Kristyna Otto Staff Writer
By Camille Contreras Staff Writer
Eminem has long been one of the most prominent figures in the music industry and his latest album, The Marshall Mathers LP2, proves why. This album is considered to be a sequel to Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, which was released in 2000, and it consists of the same elements that Eminem has incorporated in all of his previous albums: anger, wit, and raw emotion. Eminem’s first release off the album, “Berzerk,” is one of the most upbeat tracks and displays more of his satirical side as he pokes fun at a variety of people, including himself. The album also contains a series of tracks that are heavy with emotion such as “Headlights,” featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess, which demonstrates his ability to create remorseful songs. Ultimately, this album both revisits Eminem’s signature style of producing personal and deeply emotional songs as well as provides a variety of catchy and high-tempo tracks that can appeal to everyone.
Most of us know by now to never expect conventional things from Lady Gaga. Gaga recently described her new album, ARTPOP, as “a celebration and a poetic musical journey.” It certainly proves to be a uniquely creative form of expression, but in terms of entertainment value, it is far from perfect. ARTPOP is, believe it or not, even more eccentric than Gaga’s previous endeavors. The album is a motley collection of hits and misses. Artists like R. Kelly and T.I. are featured effectively in a couple of songs. Some hooks from catchy songs like “Donatella” have been stuck in my head for days, but others like “Venus” and the title song felt lacking. However, it is commendable that she was able to create more personal music. It should be noted that along with the album, Lady Gaga released the ARTPOP mobile app, making her one of the first few artists to release an interactive app alongside music.
The much anticipated return of Katniss Everdeen, everyone’s favorite rebellious heroine, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has not disappointed audiences. Defying all doubts, Catching Fire was just as excellent as The Hunger Games—if not better. Compared to the first movie, the viewer tends to feel more connected with the characters and their feelings. With the introduction of new characters like the charming Finnick Odair and the spunky Johanna Mason, new fandoms have been born. If you have read the books and fear that the movie will not meet expectations, you do not have to worry: Catching Fire remained very true to the book. From the love triangle between Peeta, Gale and Katniss, to the hysteria of the Quarter Quell, there is never a dull moment; the audience will be sitting on eir seats. the edge of their Wii t h u n i q u e twists, Catching Firee has everything to of offer in a movie: love,, action, deceit and adventure. It is a definite must-see.
Dallas Buyers Club, starring Matthew McConaughey, is far from his usual romantic comedy. This is a movie whose primary goal is not to entertain, but rather to provoke thought and emotion. The film, which is based on a true story and set in the mid-80s, is the story of Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) and his fight against AIDS and the FDA, which is prohibiting victims to use non-approved drugs that actually are effective. This indie film takes an extremely rough disease and puts it out for the world to see. This movie is intense. It is real, it is human, and it forces you to feel and to empathize. I highly recommend seeing it, but be wary of some mature content. Watch inout for brilliant directing, in novative cinematography, a stellar performance from McConaughey (predicted to be nominated for an Academy Award for his role), and a surprising yet compelling performance from Jared Leto as Woodroof’s oodroof’s transvestite partner and fellow patient, Rayon.
Monarch Football Makes History
touchdowns. The emotional return of Evans (previously out with broken hands) included By Brian Consiglio and Allex Weil rushing for 94 yards and a score, changing those #doitfor5 hashtags into #5diditforus. Staff Writers This was one of the most lopsided Monarch victories in Bell-Mitty history. The win Monarch Football has continued to amaze this year with a stellar 11-1 record (6-1 league). With the season coming to an end, the team—having clinched a share of the gave the Monarchs a share of the WCAL title, and after a tough loss to Serra in the regular 2013 WCAL title and boasting the best overall record in the league—has produced the season finale, the team earned a #5 seed in the open division. With the recent 37-7 blowout best season in the last eleven years. This against Valley Christian, the Monarchs has resulted in an abundance of school are one step closer to a CCS championpride, especially via social media, with ship and eternal football glory. Mitty trending hashtags such as #rollmonarchs routed the Warriors, scoring three touchand #doItfor5. downs in the first quarter, giving the The annual home game—Mitty’s Monarchs a comfortable lead. one night under the lights at Father Jack Just minutes into the game, Monroe Russi Stadium—versus rival St. Francis, scored on a 49-yard pass from Scharwas undoubtedly a high point of the renberg. Shortly after, junior Trevor regular season. Hundreds of Monarchs Lewis intercepted a Valley Christian including students, alumni, parents, pass, setting up Evans’ 5-yard run to the and faculty witnessed a great defensive end zone. And just when Valley Chrisbattle, which only intensified the late tian was thinking about a comeback, game heroics. Monroe secured the game by scooping Senior Daniel Mendoza tore up a fumble and running 96 yards to the through the Lancer linemen to block end zone. the potential game-winning field goal Although the margin of victory was as time expired, saving Mitty’s victory large enough, the Monarchs weren’t 13-12. What an incredible way to win at complacent. In the fourth quarter, senior home under the lights! Jose Manzo sealed the 30-point victory However, the season has not gone with Scharrenberg’s 19-yard touchdown as smoothly as the numbers may seem. Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez pass reception. Monarch Football was left at a disadvanMonarchs stand in triumph after a well-deserved victory against the Lancers. The Monarchs had defeated the tage with key players, including Brett Foley, one of the section’s best athletes, and Kyle Evans, who was selected as all-WCAL Warriors with a narrow 14-13 victory in October. Clearly, the team has stepped it up and is ready to take it all. 2nd team, all-Mercury News 2nd team; sadly, both were out for six games. The last time the team competed in the CCS Open Division Championship was 2001, Yet the Monarchs united and overcame adversity. As all-WCAL 1st team senior linebacker Chandler Ramirez says, “It hit us hard emotionally when they were unable to but it has never before won the championship. The team will have played Serra on Friday, December 6 for the CCS Title by the time we go to press. The Monarchs will have had play, but we weren’t going to let anything keep us from reaching our goals.” All told, they are leaving a legacy that no other Mitty football team has matched in a chance to redeem themselves after a loss to Serra three weeks prior. Regardless of the recent years. In early November, the Monarchs defeated their archrivals Bellarmine 34-7 result in the CCS Championship, the Monarchs have had a historic season. Both the present and future look bright. The young talent this year bodes well for the in front of a huge crowd at San Jose City College. Senior Quarterback Trenton Scharrenberg completed over 90% of his passes, two of which were to Dakari Monroe for next season, as the successors carry on the legacy of this year’s team.
NCAA Signing Day By Katie Ericksen and Varun Chhabra Sports Editors
Men’s Basketball Connor Peterson, Azusa Pacific Men’s Golf Shintaro Ban, U Nevada, Las Vegas Men’s Tennis Everett Maltby, UC Davis Softball Jazmyn Jackson, UC Berkeley Katarina Pance, U Pennsylvania Women’s Basketball Kelly Hayes, UC Los Angeles Women’s Golf Kyleigh Moreno, Santa Clara Women’s Swimming Marie-Pierre Delisle, UC Los Angeles Women’s Volleyball Kelsey Crawford, Yale Kelly Gerrans, U Miami Clare Powers, St. Mary’s College Casey Tierney, Brown Shirin Tooloee, Brown
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
Volleyball Spikes NorCals
National #1 Seeks to Defend State Title
By Mabinty Kanu and Sanjay Raman Staff Writers The women’s volleyball team has had another outstanding season, adding CCS and NorCal championships to their long list of accolades. The Monarchs defeated a strong Los Altos team in five grueling sets to win the Division II CCS title, beating Pleasant Grove from Utah along with other nationally ranked teams along the way. The team was led by All WCAL First Team seniors Clare Powers and Kelsey Crawford with 362 kills and 823 assists respectively, All WCAL Second Team junior Alexa Dreyer with 262 kills, and All WCAL Honorable Mention senior Shirin Tooloee with 228 kills. Currently, the team has a 40-4 record and is ranked #1 in the nation by MaxPreps. Regarding the team’s talent, Coach Bret Almazan-Cezar says, “We’re deep with the ability to play all 15 players in a given match. All have contributed.” The Monarchs had a very tough road on their way to the WCAL title, having to face a Valley Christian team ranked #4 nationally. Earlier in the season, the Monarchs had lost to the Warriors in a very tough fiveset match. Senior Kelsey Crawford explains, “We were obviously very Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez disappointed after the unexpected loss, but we had to overcome our emotions and put our focus into the upcoming practices, so we could Junior Brittany Latigue. beat them in the future.” The Monarchs demonstrated this razor sharp focus, winning the prestigious Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions stacked with powerhouse teams from around the state to start the postseason. The team defeated Valley Christian in the semifinals 3 sets to 1, and fended off a tough La Salle team, ranked #15 in the nation, in an intense 23-25, 25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16 five-set championship match. The team was led by junior Natasha Kosowicz and senior Clare Powers with 17 kills each. Mitty rode this momentum to win the WCAL tournament, where the Monarchs were seeded second to their foes from Valley. However, the Monarchs upset the Warriors in the final in four sets to defend their WCAL title with 11 big kills from sophomore Julia Chizanskos. In the CCS playoffs, the Monarchs beat both and Westmont and Lynbrook in straight sets to set up a title match against Los Altos. The Monarchs raced by their opponents and were paced by their star players Alexa Dryer with 18 kills and Kelsey Crawford with 50 assists and 16 digs. Senior Shirin Tooloee said, “As a team we worked very hard for those wins. As state champs we have a reputation to uphold and everyone is willing to put in the work necessary to be victorious yet again. We play for each other and all of the dedicated people who support us throughout the season.” The Monarchs now look ahead to State playoffs, where they will face a new set of tough opponents from both Northern and Southern California. As the top ranked team in the field, the Monarchs will be the favorites to defend their state title. On Tuesday, Dec. 3, they clinched the NorCal title after crushing Los Altos again, this time in three straight sets. Stakes are high, but Tooloee holds that pressure “is just part of being a Mitty athlete. Our sports program is known for being one of the best so I’m sure all of our athletes feel pressure to be champs.” The team will have played Santiago High School with the opportunity to defend their CIF State Championship title in Orange County on Saturday, Dec. 7 by the time we go to press. Regardless of the result, the girls have held the standard of Mitty athletics, and will bring home a sense of pride when they return next week. Good luck Monarchs!
Sports • December 2013
Men’s Basketball Enters a New Era Senior Matt McAndrews drives to the basket.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
By Amrith Mylvara Staff Writer Amidst the ebullient and passionate cheering at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, a nostalgic undercurrent found its way into the minds of the entire Monarch cheering section. No one in the stadium on that March night left with their voices and emotions intact, but after witnessing the resilient effort the Monarch squad displayed, there was another that could be felt by everyone exiting through those doors: hope for the future. That future is now the present. The Monarchs, after putting in countless hours at the gym during the offseason, tip off their season and usher in a new era in Mitty Men’s Basketball this month. The team might have new members, but they expect the same success that has defined Mitty basketball for so long. As Coach Tim Kennedy notes, “Some challenges we will face include having new players step into new roles from the previous year and building team chemistry. Each year brings different challenges, but the same is true for all teams: can we find our identity from an offensive and defensive standpoint and
l l a b t e k s a B Women’s
alasingam nd Arjun B a er k a B a ditor By Samanth and Sports E Staff Writer ith 24-7 hampions w C S C C & L CA l Sacre d ighlights: W ime victory over riva H 13 0 -2 12 20 ip title. overt championsh rd. 54-50 L co A re C ll W ra e ove nch th e dral to cli Heart Cath tin’ Irish p the Figh m u st to e . hs hop January 17 he Monarc at SHC on Sue h c h at c Outlo ok: T a m o C re r, ic an ep e roste in th in n a o g a s ce ce fa on s of this flux of new the prospect in n ut a o b e a it c sp ti De imis rsatility.” tremely opt lent an d ve x ta “e f is o s p ce li n il Ph bala their great group given is aspiring Kelli Hayes rd a u g t in arks, “We d po stically rem : Captain an a ls si a u o h G nt m e a d Te n d carry r, an rs to Fien, a an last yea e n th n a re b o m re o r fo etball.” ng m hard to bri omen’s Bask g W in ty rk o it w M p re a isho cy of Archb on the lega
Forward Tanner Haas celebrates victory.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
can everyone buy into their role to help the team win?” There are questions as to how the team will find enough production, in the wake of a brilliant season, to remain perched on the throne of Bay Area basketball. The answers may lie in returning seniors Matt McAndrews and Connor Peterson, who look to lead the team to victories, and in the new addition, sophomore Ben Kone. Kone is excited to contribute to the team: “I want to bring as much as possible, from scoring and rebounding, to cheering and supporting my teammates. For me, it’s about absolute dedication this year. Our goal as a team is to be a great team. By that, I mean staying focused on the team and getting it done one possession at a time.” Although he is the team’s youngest member, Kone brings skill, energy, and maturity; with his lofty build, he will provide the Monarchs with another option down low to protect the rim. Comprised of versatile and talented players, the Men’s Basketball team strives to reclaim the WCAL, CCS, and NorCal titles, but as Coach Kennedy states, “My personal goals for the season are always for the team to get better each day so that we
are playing our best basketball at the end of the season which will give us an opportunity to win.” Confident in his boys’ dedication to the sport, Coach Kennedy is sure that by the end of the season the entire team will be comprised of stronger and more experienced athletes. An upcoming challenge that this new team will face together this week will be against Moreau Catholic, a top-ranked NorCal team; this obstacle can only be overcome if the team functions as a cohesive unit and stays hungry in its pursuit of another title by the end of the season. In addition to the aforementioned Peterson and McAndrews, seniors J.P. Rindfleisch and Ian Aguilar are extremely vocal in practice, serving as a constant reminder of the desire that must reside in each of the player’s hearts in order to have the mental toughness and will to win. They are all confident in their abilities and convinced that their team will be much greater than the sum of its parts. One thing we know for certain is that this season will be a defining one in Mitty basketball history as the post-Gordon era Monarchs take their audacious first steps into the limelight.
Wrestling By Pooja P atel Sports Edit or
Photo courtesy of Mr. Luie Lopez
2012-2013 Highlights: 5th Place vidual Plac overall at ers, inclu d CCS. Four ing one Ru Crushe d r In dinner-Up, a ivals St. Fra n d one Champ ncis an d B for Mitty ion. ellar mine. Wrestling. Best seaso n yet Outlo ok: Coach Chr is Curry p Mitty Wre rou dly sta stling has tes, “Arch been patie this calibe bishop ntly waitin r to make g for a te some histo am of ry.” Team Goa ls: Their d e dication to is evident the team’s in their fr ov ien dly com Curry. Sha petitions w erall success ne Trianto it h Coach C s hopes to d his senior hris efeat him year: “I ha b v y the en d e sophomore been wrest of year an d li n g w ith him si this year mark on M nce my is my last itty Wrest shot to le ling that is ave a more than just a title .”
Soccer Shoots High By Justine Marlin and Jorge Rodriguez Staff Writers It’s official: tryouts are coming to a close, teams have come together, and the winter soccer season has begun! The coaches that make up the Mitty soccer program are currently putting together the rosters full of players that are dedicated to making our school proud as they have done year after year. Our varsity women’s team is coming off a strong season last year, with a stunning 19-1-4 overall record. The Monarchs fought all the way to CCS semi-finals with the help of more than ten seniors including star goalkeeper, Madeline Julian. Unfortunately, the season ended at the semi-finals with a tough loss to Los Altos, the eventual CCS champions. This season, the girls aim to rise even higher, hoping to carry the team all the way to a CCS victory. The new team consists primarily of young players, since it lost eleven seniors last year. Senior captain Meghan Noyes asserts that “the team is more creative than ever,” which contrasts with last year’s team, which was more aggressive in nature. Yet Coach JT Hanley maintains that this team, as all of his past Mitty soccer teams, is “built on a combination of four things: outstanding team technical skill, a high degree of tactical intelligence, intense physicality, and a team character and work ethic that makes the players believe that they can always get a result in any match against any opponent.” Thus, although the team is younger, it has as much potential as the teams of prior years. This year, the girls look to uphold the tradition of Mitty soccer as a powerhouse. Senior Mabinty Kanu asserts that the key to producing
a winning team will be “determination, taking it game by game, and a willingness to work for each other.” With a strong ability to control the ball and an intense desire to win, there is no doubt that this year’s team is capable of success. The AMHS Men’s Soccer Team also seeks to build on an extremely strong post-season run last year, where they finished ranked #5 in California and #15 in the nation. Key players Ryan Foo, who recorded 17 shutouts in 25 games, and Connor Kurze, who led the offense for the Monarchs with a team-high of 21 goals for the season, have graduated. And so this year it is up to the rest of the Monarchs to build off of an astounding 2012-2013 season, where they finished with an undefeated league record of 9-0-1. Sophomore goaltender Chris Velez and senior striker Eric Espinoza aim to defend their three soccer titles. Coming off of an excellent season himself, Espinoza attributes his past success to a great mental focus and his incessant will to win. He asserts that he is “ready to become the leader of this team and will show responsibility in every aspect.” He believes that building team chemistry is critical, but due to Coach Cesar Sanchez’s motivation this remains no obstacle for the Monarchs. The season has started off strong with 3-1 victories against Homestead (men’s) and Piedmont (women’s). Next up, the men play Santa Cruz High School and the women play Leland on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Hopefully the Monarchs can continue to build upon their past success, as both the men’s and women’s WCAL seasons start on Dec. 14 against Saint Ignatius!
December 2013 â€˘ Photography
Zachary Viano Desiree Mitchell
Through The Lens Monarch Photography
Photography • December 2013
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something
Courtney Shih Class of 2015
What does perspective mean to you? Photographically, it is the way in which we position ourselves to make a photo but it also can have a more abstract meaning.
What makes you want to photograph? I want to photograph because I enjoy bringing out the unseen beauty of subjects that are often ignored or neglected by people in daily life.
Perspective, to me, is how the your point of view can influence how you see things. An object from one point of view can be seen as ordinary or even boring, while in another perspective can seem interesting or beautiful.
What do you plan to do with your photography? I plan on sharing my photography with the world. I post my photography onto my online art blog, and have gotten the benefit of exposure, criticism, and encouragement from other artists. My main goal is to capture memories or new points of view for others’ enjoyment.
Photography • December 2013
Teen Issues Beyond the Lens
Behind the Photography
The teenage years are all fiery, immutable summer romances and glimmering sports trophies--or so we’ve been told. What She’s All That and High School Musical have failed to mention, however, are the sometimes crippling pressures that accompany those glamored visions of adolescence. These pressures tend to manifest in the teenage years. Trying to fit in at school while juggling copious amounts of homework while dealing with dramatic friends while preparing for a forever impending future are just a few of the many burdens we teens must bear. However, for those teens who seem to be slipping under the murky uncertainty of adolescence, creative outlets like photography and writing can act as buffers. Artistic mediums can bridge the gap between teens whose lives are rife with uneasiness. Oftentimes we turn to different forms of art such as photography to express emotions like stress, alienation, and insecurity. Photography tends to evoke a visceral reaction in people in a way that direct conversation cannot.
Julia Borello Staff Writer